Strawberries are sweet supple red fruits with surfaces that are seed-studded. They come from a low-growing plant belonging to genus Fragaria of the rose (Rosaceae) family, enclosing white flowers, lobed foliage, and runners. They originate all through the north temperate zones. They are the most famous and trendiest fruits in the planet (Roger).
There are over 600 assortments of strawberries that vary in taste, size, and feel; all of which have similar trait; heart silhouette, red fleshy tissue with yellow seeds shooting the surface, petite, royal, leafy green lids, and stalk that embellish their crowns (WHFoods). Below is picture of the strawberry fruit. Fig.
1 Ten great uses of strawberry (Zestycook)
The word strawberry is coined from ‘strewn” berries about the plants and thus the “strewn berry” finally turned into “Strawberry” (Roger). They are not actual fruits or berries but distended ends of the stamen of the plant. The seeds are on the external surface, rather than the internal berry. There are around 200 seeds for each berry. They are low in calories and are non-fat, loaded with vitamin c, folic acid, fiber, vitamin B6 and potassium (Roger). Over the years they have been utilized as medications for ailments like, stained teeth, sunburns, gouts and digestion (Hopley, 9). Strawberries were served up at medieval state occasions as a show of peace, wealth, and excellence.
The most well-known communal intake of strawberries is at Wimbledon annually, when strawberries and cream are eaten by very well attired Englishmen in the middle of tennis games (Hopley, 9). It is also popular knowledge that they were well adored by Russian empresses. American- Indians supposedly made-up Strawberry shortcake, smashing berries in food to prepare bread the colonists took pleasure in; they probably used wild berries because strawberries were first planted and cultivated in America in 1835 (Hopley, 9).
The origin of strawberries dates back to more than 2200 years ago. Initially they grew wild in Italy around 234 B.C where they were invented by the original Europeans in Virginia when their vessels grounded there in 1588 (Hopley, 9). Early on, settlers in Massachusetts derived a lot of pleasure in consuming strawberries produced by local American Indians who grew strawberries as back as 1643.
The period following 1860 saw strawberries being extensively cultivated in numerous parts of the nation. The Hoveg type was first introduced in Massachusetts in 1834 from France. The Fraser kinfolk in Scotland coined its name from French migrants named Strawberry (Fraise) who accompanied William the Conqueror in 1066.There are allusions to the fruit as early as ancient Rome. Strawberries have been cultivated in 1900s. Currently, more than 25,000 acres are grown yearly in California which generates more than 80% of all strawberries in the United States (Hopley 9). Averagely, 21 tons are produced on every acre with a total of 1 billion pounds of strawberries annually. The name grew from the Anglo-Saxon verb “to strew (spread) and it was later called ‘streabergen’, ‘straberry’, ‘streberie’, ‘straibery’, ‘straubery’, and lastly, “STRAWBERRY’ to the English (Hopley 9).
Strawberries have numerous uses. One of the most famous uses of strawberries is being used as recipe or an ingredient in preparation of drinks, meals or snacks. Strawberries are used as ingredients in many types of foods like cakes, yoghurts, desserts, salads, juices, meals and chocolates (Lyons, 92). They are used as part of the food or snack as well as giving that special flavor. Due to their sweet nature and nutritional content they can almost be used in any type of food. When buying strawberries, one should select the fresh ones since they are highly perishable (WHFoods).
Another wide use and well accepted importance of strawberries is their numerous health benefits. One of them is that they are proficient in high levels of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients. They therefore destroy free radicals that could be responsible for diseases like cancer. They are very healthy fruits highly enriched with vitamin C as well being a good supply of folic acid and high fiber (Lyons, 92). They also provide vitamin k, vitamin 5, riboflavin, copper, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids.
They arrest the savor of sunlight whether they are as tiny as unshelled almonds or as large as goose eggs (Lyons, 93). Due to this nature, they are used as medication for various ailments. Apart from the fruit, its leaves and roots are also used as medicine especially in the ancient Rome. Strawberries are also very beneficial in beauty therapies (Lyons, 102).
Strawberries are famous for being part of good flavors in ice creams, cakes, yoghurts, desserts, juices. For instance strawberries are widely used by the Italians to prepare “granita” which is an iced up fruit preparation. The ice is refreshing and can be prepared on a day before (Good Housekeeping, 197). The pictures below show how the strawberries can be used as an ingredient in different food products.
Fig 2. Strawberry and white chocolate mousse cake (GoodFood) Fig. 3 Strawberry cheesecake (GoodFood) Strawberries are popularly used as ingredients in cakes. These cakes include strawberry and white chocolate mousse cakes, strawberry cheesecake as shown above (GoodFood). They are also used to prepare pink strawberry cheesecake, rhubarb and strawberry crumble with custard, strawberry and vanilla cream sponge, strawberry poplova, strawberry marshmallow mousse, strawberry and passion fruit meringue roulade as well as strawberry and vanilla shortcakes among many others (GoodFood).
Strawberries are also used as ingredients in strawberry tiramisu which substitutes the coffee flavor for tasty and colorful strawberry effect. One is required to have 3 cups of strawberries that are hulled and sliced. They are then mixed with 4 eggs, sugar, 8 ounces of mascarpone cheese and 30 to 40 sponge cookies or ladyfingers for a smooth, Italian twist (Good Housekeeping, 197). Strawberries are used to make the famous and delicious chocolate-dipped strawberries from chocolate melted butter. This requires 6 whole, unhulled cups of strawberries that are clean and completely dried up.
Then they are mixed with other ingredients which are; semisweet chocolate chips, butter and sliced nuts if necessary. It is then refrigerated to ensure that the coating is solid (Roger). Apart from the strawberry fruits, one can extract the juice to give a multipurpose strawberry extract for various brands (WHFoods). The extract can be utilized in various foods and drinks to add flavor and the pink coloring. For instance it can be used in desserts to make a strawberry cheesecake or flavored cake, fruit pies like banana or lemon pies.
It can also be used to flavor muffins, bread, cookies or meringues to sweeten the original recipe (Roger). One can also add it to strawberry pie to enhance flavor. The extract can also be used as toppings for tum whipped cream, white frosting and vanilla icing with pancake syrup to give the breakfast a new face. It can be used in a pie to coat strawberries or over a cheesecake (Pulfer). Strawberry extract can be used in drinks and meals to craft a strawberry essence even in coffee or tea to create a flavor. It can be added to a fruit juice or smoothie for a strawberry blend or flavor. It can also be added to water or alcoholic drinks to make daiquiris or margaritas. Strawberry extracts can form a part of ingredient in sauces to season a meal, for instance over chicken or two sides for tasty meal like lamb in the company of strawberry couscous (Lyons, 101).
Strawberries are highly nutritional with various vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. They are also low fat hence medically beneficial to diabetics. They also ensure a healthy immune system due to the vital vitamins and thus appropriate for people with low immunity (WHFoods).
Another benefit arises from it blood sugar regulation ability where it can reduce excess or unwanted sugar in the blood (WHFoods). A number of current studies have established regular eating of strawberries to be connected with reduced possibility of type 2 diabetes (WHFoods). Considerable benefits were only recorded after frequent consumption gets to at least 2-3 strawberry portions weekly (Lyons, 98). Strawberries are graded top in health-promoting antioxidants. Antioxidants aids fight the destructive effects of free radical action to cellular structures and DNA (WHFoods). To achieve this effect, fruits should be eaten raw when there nutritional value and digestion-aiding enzymes are high (Corbett). They give an exceptional assortment of phytonutrients, including anthocyanins, flavonols, and hydroxybenzoic and hydroxycinnamic acids among others.
Strawberries have anti-cancer benefits because of high anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory substance that augment oxygen metabolism (Corbett). They lower risk in various cancers like breast, cervical, esophageal and colon cancer Corbett). Nearly all of the tumor-inhibiting researches on animals have paid attention on the phytonutrient like ellagic acid and ellagitannis properties of strawberries (WHFoods). Many phytonutrients in strawberry have surfaced as anti-cancer substances of unique importance (Corbett). Fig. 4.
Nutrients in strawberry (WHFoods)
It is believed that if two people of the opposite sex split a twofold strawberry in half and share they fall in love with each other. It represents a sign for Venus, the Goddess of Love, due its color and shape (Roger).
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” British Heritage 21. 4 (2000) p9. Print. Lyons, Charlotte. “Strawberry Delights.” Ebony 52. 8 (1997) : 96-102.
Print. Pulfer, Rachel. “The Last Ingredient.” Canadian Business 81.
17 (2008) Print. Roger, Doiron. “Savoring strawberries.” Mother Earth News 234 (2009)Print. University of Illinois extension. history &lore, strawberries &more.
com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=32 Zestycook. 10 Great Uses for Strawberries by zesty. (2009)