National Strawberry Month: Brush Up on Berry Facts

There’s nothing like a basket of fresh, juicy strawberries to get you excited for warmer weather. Strawberries are a staple in most American homes—in fact, 94% of American households consume strawberries, and the average American consumes 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries each year. That’s a lot of berries per person—but how much do you really know about the lush red fruit? We’ve rounded up nine surprising facts about strawberries to test your knowledge on one of nature’s sweetest treats.
By McKenzie Van Meter

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This article has been posted with permission and originally appeared as 9 Things You Didn’t Know About Strawberries on Relish

shutterstock_223371799Shutterstock: Rennes

A Rose By Any Other Name

Have you ever wondered why strawberry bushes are so lovely and fragrant? Turns out, strawberries are a member of the Rosaceae flowering plant family, which also contains—you guessed it!—roses.

strawberriesRelish

Not Berries!

It turns out that strawberries aren’t berries at all! Technically speaking, berries carry their seeds on the inside. To make matters even more complicated, each “seed” on the exterior of a strawberry is its own fruit. The red fleshy part is merely the receptacle of the plant. Oy, vey.

post_display_cropped_open-uri20130528-3739-jlp7c9Musée de la Fraise de Wepion

Strawberry Museum

In Belgium, there’s a town called Wépion that’s known for producing the most delicious strawberries in the country. To honor their beloved fruit, Wépion dedicated an entire museum to strawberries (it covers the
history, production, and economic impact of strawberries in the area).

coldstrawberrysoupPhilip Jourdan

Aphrodisiac

The French believe that strawberries are a powerful aphrodisiac; in one countryside tradition, newlyweds are served a cold strawberry soup in order to ensure that they have a, um… “productive” honeymoon. Get the Recipe: Cold Strawberry Orange Soup

shutterstock_195320012Shutterstock: alisalipa

Health Benefits

These potent little packages may actually guard against cancer, lower your blood pressure, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, and promote heart health. They also contain tons of antioxidants—sign us up!

4-strawberry-lemonadeAmber Wilson

Better Than A Bubble Bath

Madame Tallien (a prominent member of Napoleon’s court) was known for bathing in fresh strawberry juice; it took over 22 pounds of strawberries to make just one bath. We wouldn’t recommend bathing in it (too much work), but luckily a sip of our strawberry lemonade will be just as refreshing! Get the Recipe: Strawberry Lemonade

shutterstock_235398028Shutterstock: sanddebeautheil

Elf Offering?

In some parts of rural Bavaria, people tie small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of cattle as an offering to elves. Legend states that the elves will guarantee plenty of milk and healthy calves in return.

shutterstock_144062314Shutterstock: Pedro Rufo

In Disguise

Strawberry is one of the most popular artificial flavors in the world, though we’d argue that artificial strawberry flavoring doesn’t taste nearly as good as the real thing.

mini-strawberry-shortcake-poppers-from-snappy-gourmetSnappy Gourmet

First Fruits

Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring. Peak season runs from April-June, so make sure to stop by your local farmer’s market and pick them up before they’re gone! Get the Recipe: Mini Strawberry Shortcake Poppers

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