Tasty, fragrant, generous … there is no shortage of qualifiers to describe the strawberry. And what about these benefits for our health? Roll on the strawberry season!
Strawberry Identity Card
The strawberries (Fragaria vesca) are small herbaceous plants of the Rosaceae family, which have been growing in the wild for a very long time (nearly 35 species were recorded in the Neolithic), whether in Western Europe, Asia or the American continent. Originally, there is only wild strawberries which only produce small strawberries. Our gathering ancestors consumed them in the wild. But from Antiquity, wild strawberries entered Roman gardens.
From the 15th century, the cultivation of strawberries became a business for professionals. Over the crossings, and thanks to the discovery of large white fruit strawberries (but not very tasty) in Chile and Peru, cultivated strawberries grow larger and their taste qualities improve.
There are more than 600 varieties of strawberries which fall into two categories: non-ascending (which only bears fruit once a year) and ascending (which produces twice a year).
Examples of varieties of non-rising strawberries: Gariguette, Ciflorette, Cigoulette, Cigaline, Cléry, Darselect, Surprise des Halles …
Examples of varieties of strawberries: Mara des bois, Charlotte, Mæstro, Reine des Vallées, Mount Everest …
We say spring strawberries. However, the production can be spread out in summer, depending on the category of the variety and its precocity.
The season of non-returning strawberries: from mid-May for the earliest varieties, to mid-August for the later varieties.
The growing strawberry season: a first production in July, then a second in August with the first frosts.
How to choose your strawberries?
Strawberries are generally packaged in trays and in plastic. We do not necessarily see their condition at first glance. Strawberries should be bright, scented and equipped with collar and a peduncle very green. Watch out for rotten and damaged fruit in the corners and bottom of the trays.
The nutritional qualities of strawberries *
Strawberries are rich in water and fiber (3.80 g per 100 g), perfect for a healthy and dietetic diet. But it is also a great concentrate of
vitamin C: 100 g of strawberries provide 67.50% of the NRVs **;
vitamins B9 : 100 g provide 49.45% of the NRVs (it is also the fruit that contains the most after passion fruit):
polyphenols (antioxidants): 49.87 mg of polyphenols per 100 mg of strawberries *).
The strawberry is also a interesting source of minerals and trace elements, including manganese (13% VNR **), potassium, calcium and magnesium.
The benefits of strawberries are therefore numerous. It contributes, among other things, to the hydration of the body, to the strengthening of the immune and nervous system, to the prevention against cardiovascular diseases and damage caused by free radicals (aging of cells, cancer …), etc.
Attention : strawberry allergy is quite common. It is due to the presence ofhistamine, an allergenic substance which can cause hives, runny nose, tingling in the mouth and throat, or even difficulty breathing.
How to store strawberries?
It is possible to keep the strawberries cool for 48 to 72 hours, provided they are unwashed, with the peduncle and not damaged.
How to eat strawberries?
Strawberries are excellent as is, or lightly dusted with sugar. However, to release their aromas and flavors, remember to take them out of the refrigerator an hour before serving them.
They are also suitable for many recipes:
The cook’s trick
Wash the strawberries whole and with the tail so that they retain all their flavors and vitamins.
Did you know ?
The strawberry is not a berry but a false fruit. Its red and fleshy flesh comes from the transformation of receptacle from fleur. The real fruits of the strawberry plant are the small yellow grains, the achenes, which are found placed on this receptacle.
Ready to grow your own strawberries?
The best way to make sure you’re eating good, seasonal strawberries is to grow them.
* Sources: ANSES 2020 (Table of nutritional composition of Ciqual foods) / aprifel.com.
** VNR: nutritional reference value, formerly called Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by www.aujardin.info.
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