Facts about Strawberry
A hybrid species of two wild strawberries.
Fresh fruits conquer the stores every summer, mostly eaten raw or with sugar and whipped cream. All year round, however, we can enjoy their flavor in baked goods, ice cream, juices, and shakes. We will not elaborate on their color or taste - everyone knows very well what strawberries are and how good they taste. However, we want to introduce their undoubted health benefits, history, and the changes in their cultivation in recent years.
1The first strawberries were bred in France in the 1850s. They were created by crossing two species of wild strawberries.
Due to their size, these creations quickly displaced the common strawberry, which people had eaten since probably earlier than the Stone Age.
2They are perennial plants growing to a height of 15 - 45 cm.
There are more than 600 varieties of strawberries, but only more than a dozen gained popularity.
3Before the creation of strawberries, people grew wild strawberries in their backyard gardens.
Strawberries gained popularity in the 14th century when they found their way into royal and monastery gardens.
4Strawberries with whipped cream were introduced by Thomas Wolsey, a 16th-century Catholic bishop.
He invented and prepared this dish for Henry VIII - the King of England - and his court.
5The red fleshy part of the plant is not its fruit. It is the tiny nuts on the strawberry's surface.
There can be about two hundred of them on the surface of one strawberry.
6Strawberries have beneficial effects on the human body.
They raise the "good" cholesterol level (HDL), lower blood pressure, and reduce cancer risk. In addition, strawberries are rich in polyphenols, presenting strong antioxidant activity.
7Strawberries are harvested between 4 and 6 weeks after flowering.
Only those entirely red are harvested, and the process is repeated every three days for about three weeks.
8Until recently, they were harvested exclusively by hand, although rapidly advancing automatization and robotization constantly change this process.
Special plantations are being created in which a unique algorithm identifies the ripeness of the fruit and decides whether the fruit should be picked. If it is ripe enough, a robotic arm gently plucks the strawberry without damaging the plant.
9According to nutritionists' recommendations, eight strawberries should be eaten daily to keep the body healthy.
10Due to the presence of specific proteins, strawberries can be allergenic, especially for children.
Symptoms that can occur after eating strawberries include swelling of the tongue and lips and burning in the mouth, swelling of the throat and difficulty breathing, diarrhea, abdominal pain, skin rashes and itching.