We are in PEAK strawberry season! For us, the best strawberries this side of the Mississippi come from Rick Bishop’s Mountain Sweet Berry Farm. We’ve been using MSB’s berries since we first opened, and of course, it is time to bring them back. This year, not only in there most popular incarnation, our Strawberry Shake, but also with Bark’s new Strawberry Lemonade.
The standard berry you find at the grocery stores are the result of crossbreeding the wild Virginia type with a Chilean genus. This intercross creates hardy berries, which makes them easier to pick and ship. However, the version usually sold by farmers at Green Markets are of the European Alpine variety. They’re considered by many to be the “queen of strawberries”. In general, the flavor of the smaller version is better than that of the larger varieties since the latter are often juicier.
Strawberries are emblematic of bright and cheery summertime days, but there’s more to them then meets the eye. Here are some fun facts about the fruit that you might not have known.
- On average there are 200 seeds on a strawberry.
- Strawberries aren’t really a berry but a member of the rose family.
- The actual fruit part of the strawberry is the tiny yellow seeds on the outside, not the sweet red fleshy part.
- Belgium has a museum dedicated to the strawberry named de la Fraise: The Strawberry Museum.
- In France, strawberries are served to newlyweds at a traditional wedding breakfast in the form of a creamy, sweet soup.
- The ancient Romans used strawberries medicinally to treat everything from depression to kidney stones.
- The Strawberry Festival in New York City is May 9th on West 3rd and LaGuardia Place. Each year they present the city’s largest strawberry shortcake.
- The acid in strawberries can lessen the appearance of stains on teeth.