The strawberry is actually a member of the rose family, with the most common varieties being a hybrid of the wild Virginia strawberry, native to North America, and a Chilean variety. The plant produces succulent, red, fruit from tiny white flowers, and sends out runners to propagate.
Although the plants can last about 5 years with careful cultivation, most farmers use them as an annual crop. Crops take 8 to 14 months to mature. Strawberries are social plants, requiring both a male and female to produce fruit.
Strawberries are native to North America, the Indians used them in many dishes. The first colonists in America shipped the native larger strawberry plants back to Europe as early as 1600. Another variety was also discovered in Central and South America, which the conquistadors called futilla. Early Americans did not bother cultivating strawberries, because they were abundant in the wilds.
Cultivation began in earnest in the early part of the 19th century, when strawberries with cream quickly became considered a luxurious dessert. New York became a strawberry hub with the advent of the railroad, shipping the crop in refrigerated railroad cars. Production spread to Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida and Tennessee. Now 75 percent of the North American crop is grown in California, and some areas have Strawberry Festivals, with the first one dating back to 1850.
Research Source: About
Need you daily dose of fruit, try this strawberry salad recipe.
Copyrighted 2013, Christine’s Pantry. All rights reserved.
1 (8 oz.) bag shredded lettuce
1 pint strawberries, wash hulled and cut into wedges
1/4 cup crumble goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, roasted
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey mustard
pinch black pepper
Combine olive oil, honey mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a salad bowl, add shredded lettuce, strawberries, crumble goat cheese and walnuts. Just before serving, add dressing and toss to coat. Enjoy!