National Strawberry Month
So…let’s talk strawberries! Did you know there are an average of 200 seeds per strawberry? Or that (according to botanists) strawberries are not really berries at all, but rather are a member of the rose family? Maybe that explains why strawberry essence is so popular, even if you don’t actually each strawberries themselves.
Strawberries are an incredibly versatile fruit and are grown in all 50 states in the U.S. as well as many other countries (and climates) around the world. That is due in part to the fact that there are approximately 20 species of strawberries, but if you add in all the different hybrids, cultivars and subspecies, that number climbs to over 600. Strawberries’ flavor is influenced by several factors including weather, the variety and the stage of ripeness when they are harvested.
In the U.S. strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring, and more than 94% of all U.S. households consume strawberries. In fact, Americans eat, on average, 3.4 lbs of fresh strawberries every year, and an additional 1.8 lbs of frozen strawberries! When polled, 53% of kids ages 7 to 9 said that strawberries were the favorite fruit…which is great because 8 strawberries provides 140% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for children. And as far a production goes, California and Florida produce the majority of strawberries in the U.S.
Strawberries have been a popular fruit in many different cultures and countries throughout the years – in fact Ancient Romans used strawberries for medicinal purposes to whiten teeth, cure fevers and depression, help with sore throats and much more.
In our area, strawberry production (and picking) is in full swing, which makes it a great time to celebrate National Strawberry month by visiting a farm or pick-your-own and enjoying some fresh picked, ripe strawberries! What is your favorite way to eat strawberries?