Strawberry Fun Facts

Strawberries are a unique and fun fruit. The wild strawberry is native to the Americas, Europe, and Asia and is now cultivated worldwide. Being so widespread and so loved, it has worked itself into our history and popular culture.

Strawberry

Strawberry is the only fruit that has the seeds on the outside, and each strawberry has about 200 seeds. Because the seeds are on the outside, the strawberry is actually not a true berry, and each of the seeds could be considered as a separate fruit.

Birthmarks that are the size, shape and/or color of strawberries are often called strawberry marks, and historically have been seen as a sign of witchcraft. Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, had a strawberry shaped birthmark on the back of her neck that was used as proof that she was a witch!

In France, strawberries are considered an aphrodisiac, and in mythology the strawberry is the symbol of Venus, the goddess of love. Also in France, newlyweds were served a traditional breakfast of strawberry soup with sour cream, sugar, and borage to celebrate their love. In the folklore of several cultures it is believed that if two people split and share a double strawberry they will fall in love.

Strawberries have long been a symbol of perfection and righteousness and stonemasons would often carve a strawberry onto altars and stonework in churches and cathedrals. Strawberries were also served at important political and social events in the belief that they brought prosperity and peace.

While strawberries are grown in every state of the U.S. And all of the Canadian provinces, the state of California out-produces the rest of them put together. If the 525,000 tons of strawberries grown in California were set end to end, they would stretch around the Earth about 15 times.

Strawberry shortcake is one of the most common of strawberry desserts in America and actually dates back to the American Indians. The Indian dish consisted of crushed strawberries mixed in a sweet corn bread. With a few small changes and the addition of cream it became the delicious dessert we know today.

The character Strawberry Shortcake was originally a cartoon image used on American Greetings cards in the late 1970's that eventually turned into a television show with additional characters like Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie. The cartoon was followed by a collection of dolls, each with their own pet.

A Bavarian folk ritual still practiced today involves tying baskets of strawberries to the horns of cows in the spring so that the elves will bless the cows with healthy calves and an abundance of milk.

In England, the famous tennis tournament at Wimbledon occurs during the peak of strawberry season and spectators often snack upon bowls of fresh strawberries during the matches.

There are hundreds of strawberry festivals around the world and in Brussels there is a museum dedicated entirely to the strawberry.

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Resources:

University of Illinois Extension: Strawberries and More: History and Lore
Vegetarians in Paradise: Taming the Wild Strawberry
London Strawberry Festival: Strawberry Fun Facts
The History of Strawberry Shortcake
Pick Your Own: Strawberry Facts and Trivia

Destinations:

Fun Facts about Raspberries

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