Dazzle your friends with these seven juicy tidbits about the fruit.
1. STRAWBERRIES AREN'T BERRIES.
Technically speaking, strawberries are accessory fruits. By “accessory fruits” we don’t mean they make great earrings (although they might); we mean that they’re part of a class of fruit that includes apples, common figs, and pineapples.
2. NOBODY KNOWS FOR SURE HOW THEY GOT THEIR NAME.
There are several folk theories, including that the fruit got its name from its growth patterns over the ground like straw spread in a stable, but modern etymologists are not buying it.
3. THERE ARE SOME PRETTY WEIRD VARIETIES.
Emmbean via Wikipedia Commons // CC BY 3.0
The garden strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) dominates our produce aisles and farmers markets, but it’s far from the only strawberry out there. The pineberry, shown above, looks like a sick strawberry but tastes like pineapple. Then there’s the Himalayan strawberry, Fragaria x daltonia, which looks like a sneaker from the '90s and is apparently not worth eating (it has been described as "virtually flavourless").
4. SHORTCAKE LOVERS SHOULD HEAD TO OREGON.
Every year, the Lebanon Strawberry Festival in early June is home to the world’s largest shortcake. The cake, which is made by a bakery in a local grocery story, requires 992 cups of flour, 514 cups of sugar, and 18 cups of vanilla, and can feed more than 15,000 people.
5. THEY MAKE EXPERIMENTS MUCH EASIER.
Tierra Smiley Evans/UC Davis
Everyone knows it’s hard to get saliva from a wild monkey. It’s their saliva, and they intend to keep it … unless there’s jam to be had. Clever primate researchers figured out that they could smear strawberry jam on a rope, then casually leave it lying around in the monkeys’ territory. The monkey comes along, chews on the rope, then leaves, providing scientists with a lovely—if gooey—spit sample.
6. THEY’VE GOT MORE VITAMIN C THAN ORANGES.
A large orange provides about 86 calories and 98 milligrams of Vitamin C, or 163 percent of your daily recommended intake. A serving of strawberries (about 10 strawberries) is 60 calories and offers almost 177 percent of your Vitamin C for the day.
7. STRAWBERRY CONSUMPTION IS ON THE RISE.
Hieronymous Bosch via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
From 2000 to 2012, American strawberry consumption rose by 60 percent. Agricultural experts credit improved growing techniques, which make the fruit taste better, and increased availability as we import more and more produce from Central and South America.