Strawberries

June Strawberries

Everbearing Strawberries

Description:

The strawberry is a small plant of the Rosaceae (Rose) family. All varieties of the strawberry plant belong to the Fragaria genus.

The strawberry is considered one of the most important small fruits grown in the Western Hemisphere. Today every state in the United States and every province in Canada grow the strawberry plant. It grows both as a wild plant and as a cultivated plant.

Some strawberries, called everbearing, produce berries throughout the summer and fall.

The strawberry grows close to the ground on the stem in groups of three. The greenish white fruits turn to a rich red colour when they ripen. When the strawberry ripens the petals of the flower fall off and all that remains is the calyx, a leafy substance shaped like a star. Not every flower produces fruit. The strawberry plant has seeds on the outside skin rather than having an outer skin around the seed, as most berries do. They do not however, normally reproduce by seeds. When the fruit is developing, the plant sends out slender growths called runners. These look like strings. They grow on the ground and send out roots in the soil. The roots produce new plants which grow and bear fruit. Sometimes these plants are taken from the soil and replanted to start a new plantation of strawberry plants.

Strawberries are thought to have been cultivated in ancient Rome. The strawberry, as we know it, was originally grown in northern Europe, but species are also found in Russia, Chile, Canada, and the United States.

The berries seem to be strewn among the leaves of the plant. The plant first had the name strewberry, farmers used to bring them to market on beds of straw, so later the name was changed to strawberry. In France strawberries were cultivated in the 13th Century for use as a medicinal herb.

Peak Season:

June and July

Handling:

Choose plump, firm, deep-colored strawberries, with bright green caps and no signs of mold or soft spots. Store strawberries in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Wash and hull strawberries just before using them. To freeze strawberries, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until firm. Then transfer frozen berries to a sealed container or bag. A 12 oz. basket of strawberries will give you 3 1/2 cups whole strawberries, or 2 1/4 cup sliced strawberries.

Preparation:

The best way to eat a strawberry is fresh out of hand. For a fresh strawberry taste, try this simple strawberry gelato. Heat 1 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 cups water until sugar dissolves. Combine 3 cups pureed strawberries, 2 Tbsp. finely chopped lemon zest, and 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice with cooled sugar mixture. Freeze until firm.

Nutritional Information (per 1 cup fresh Strawberries):

Calories Protein Fat Sat. Fat % Cal. Fat Sodium Carbs Fibre Vit. A Vit. C Calcium Iron
50 1.0 g 0.0 g 0.0 g 0% 0.0 mg 13 g 3.0 g 0% RDA 140% RDA 2% RDA 2% RDA