Know Your Food

Strawberry – the dessert essential fruit

How dear these berries are to humans that they even inspired the famous number ‘Summer Wine’ by Nancy Sinatra which included the lines ‘Strawberries, cherries, and an angel’s kiss…!’

The garden strawberry is a widely grown hybrid variety of Fragaria. The fruit is eye-catching because of its attractive red color. It is mushy, juicy, and full of sweetness. It also boasts of a delicate aroma. However, this fruit cannot be termed a berry in the botanical sense as it grows from a casket that holds the ovaries and not from the ovaries themselves.

Each seed seen on the outer surface is called achene which is among the many ovaries of the flower containing the same. There is a whopping amount of 200 seeds on its external membrane. Botanists often refer to the strawberry as a false fruit or a pseudocarp. It is a collection of multiple fruits embedded in a fleshy receptacle.

Several types of strawberries are available in the market. They vary in size, color, flavor, fertility, shape, and ripening season. This fruit needs a moderate climate for cultivation but some of the varieties can also grow in a subtropical climate.

However, these plants do not grow taller. During the flower formation, these fruits need eight to twelve hours of sunlight for more than a week. This is primarily for the commercial variety which doesn’t grow in winters.

This fruit has fibrous roots most of which remain above the ground while growing only 15 cm beneath the earth. It requires frequent watering to keep the roots moist and to boost vegetative growth. They grow in the autumn season and after winter, it begins to flower again. Therefore, strawberries are usually cultivated from September to October. That is because an early plantation would result in a lower yield.

It also requires fertile-rich soil for cultivation. One must note that the strawberry should not be grown on the same soil as that of a potato, tomato, pepper, eggplant, or raspberry. That is because it’s a highly nutrient extracting plant that drains out the same from the soils. The pH level of a strawberry ranges between 5-7.

These attractive and healthy fruits are packed with vitamins and antioxidants (polyphenols). They are known to protect individuals against cancer, decrease heart-related problems, increase good cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. The best part here is that strawberries are fat-free with zero cholesterol. In short, it’s a low-calorie and guilt-free fruit which one can binge on.

The most romantic way to enjoy strawberries is with cream. You can also try slush, jams, ice-creams, milkshakes, and various other interesting ways of relishing them.

Trivia

  • The artificial flavor of the strawberry is used in products such as soap, lip gloss, perfume, and many others.
  • Many varieties of strawberries are cultivated around the world.
  • These fruits are rich in vitamin C and are commonly consumed as desserts.
  • They are used for pastry or pie fillings. One may also preserve them in various other ways.
  • The strawberry shortcake is a traditional American dessert that is made of fresh strawberries, sponge cake, and whipped cream.

0 comments on “Strawberry – the dessert essential fruit

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: