Strawberries are one of the world’s most popular fruit. They’re bite size and decadently sweet. What’s not to love? They’re also incredibly nutritious, packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants known as polyphenols. They also have a more interesting history than you might imagine. Read on for some fun facts about strawberries you’ve never known before.
History of Strawberries
People have likely eaten wild strawberries for millennia, but cultivation officially began in the 1300s in Europe. People in France first transplanted the wild strawberry into the garden. In the 1600s, colonists discovered and shipped it to Europe. Though this species was hardy and delicious, it did not become popular until the end of the 1700s and early 1800s in England.
At the same time, a French spy discovered the Chilean strawberry and brought it to France in 1714. This species boasted a larger size than previous strawberries but was not hardy and was difficult the grow away from mild coastal climates.
When French cultivators crossed the Virginia strawberry with the Chilian strawberry, the magic happened. The resulting strawberry tasted great, had a substantial size, and was more hardy. This strawberry remained in favor until 1909 when the variety E.C. Howard of Massachusetts discovered a variety he called “Howard 17.” This strawberry had a tolerance to leaf spots and other diseases and eventually replaced the Virginia Chilian cross.
If you’re looking for some decadent strawberry desserts, check out our Delicious Daisy® Dipped Strawberries & Pineapple arrangement. It’s packed with strawberries dipped in decadent semisweet chocolate, pineapple daisies dipped in chocolate, honeydew, cantaloupe, and so much more. Or, check out our Swizzle Berries®, which are hand-dipped in gourmet chocolate and topped with white chocolate drizzle.
10 Fun Facts About Strawberries
Strawberries are a delicious fruit that provides numerous health benefits. Perhaps that’s why they’re one of the country’s most popular fruits. Here are ten fun facts about this delectable fruit:
1. The Early Fruit Tastes the Sweetest
Strawberries are one of the first fruits to ripen in the spring. Their harvest season also is pretty short, clocking in at just about three weeks, so it’s important to harvest them early and quickly.
2. Strawberries are a Type of Rose
Biologically speaking, strawberries belong to the Rosaceae family and the subfamily Rosoideae, which also includes roses. Plants that belong to the Rosoideae subfamily have at least two pistils that are not connected and develop into achenes, a feature that roses and strawberries share.
3. Strawberries Can Be A Variety of Different Colors
In addition to red, strawberries can be white, pink, yellow, and golden-hued. These varieties are created by crossing wild strawberries and saving the seeds from the different hued plants.
4. Strawberries Contain More Vitamin C than Oranges
You might think that an orange has the most vitamin C out of any fruit, but strawberries actually contain more. One large sweet red berry contains 10.5 mg, compared to 70 mg of vitamin C in an orange.
5. Americans Eat Eight Pounds of Strawberries Per Year
According to research, the average American consumes approximately 8 pounds of fresh strawberries per year. This figure reached an all-time high of 8.5 pounds per capita in 2020.
6. The Fear of Strawberries is Called Fragariaphobia
Yes, people can be afraid of strawberries, a phobia referred to as fragariaphobia. This word was derived from the genus strawberries belong to, Fragraria, along with phobia, the word for fear.
7. National Pick Strawberries Day is Celebrated on May 20th
A national holiday celebrates strawberries on May 20th. National Pick Strawberries Day encourages people to take a trip to a local strawberry farm to pick strawberries and plant their own plants at home.
8. Ancient Romans Believed that Strawberries Alleviated a Variety of Ails
Ancient Romans believed strawberries help alleviate various ailments, including melancholy, fainting, inflammation, and fevers. This is perhaps due to to the fact that strawberries contain a high amount of vitamin C.
9. There is a Museum in Belgium Just for Strawberries
Strawberry season is important in Belgium, especially in the town of Wépion. That’s why they dedicated an entire museum to explaining the history of strawberry growing in the region and its importance to the economy.
10. California Produces 80% of the Strawberries in the US
Strawberries can be grown across the US, but California produces the most commercial crops. This is due to the fact that their fields are more productive than other areas of the country.
People adore strawberries because they’re sweet, juicy, plump, and incredibly nutritious. You may not have known that hundreds of years of cultivation have slowly perfected the fruit you love today. Whether eating them in the form of chocolate dipped strawberries or on a delicious fruit tray, you can better appreciate the history behind this tasty fruit.
More Facts and Answers to Your Questions About Strawberries
What is unique about strawberries?
Strawberries aren’t true berries like raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. However, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all part of the rose family of plants. Strawberries are actually the only fruit that has seeds on the outside rather than the inside, and that’s why they’re not considered true berries.
Is strawberry 🍓 a fruit yes or no?
Yes, strawberry is a fruit, but it’s sometimes called a “false fruit.” Rather than a single fruit, it’s a collection of many tiny fruits. It’s also considered an “accessory aggregate fruit,” because they develop from multiple ovaries of a single flower and from other parts of the flower. The strawberry seeds are actually individual fruits called achenes, and they’re all attached to what’s called a fleshy receptacle. Together, the seeds (tiny fruits) and the fleshy receptacle make up a delicious strawberry.
What are some history facts about strawberries?
Strawberries are native to North America and weren’t cultivated until the 1300s in France when the people transplanted wood strawberries in the garden from the wilderness. Strawberries became popular in England in the 1700s and early 1800s, and around this time, new varieties were developed. The modern strawberry, Fragaria ananassa, is actually a hybrid created when a Chilean strawberry was accidentally pollinated with a Virginia strawberry. Strawberries grew in popularity and became widely cultivated after the combination of strawberries and cream was conceived and served to King Henry VIII.
What are some fun facts about strawberries in California?
California produces more strawberries than any other state, planting 35,000 acres along the coast, according to CaliforniaStrawberries.com. In fact, California produces about 90% of the strawberry crop in the United States. California strawberries are harvested from different regions of the state at different times of the year, so they’re available all year long.