Table of content A-Z

 

strawberry

 

Botanical name: Fragaria x ananassa


Erdbeere

 

Today's strawberry is a cross between the North American scarlet strawberry and the Chilean strawberry from the Andes. Owing to the adaptation of various breeds to different climatic conditions, strawberries are grown today in almost all countries of the world.

 

Availability

Strawberries can be found in the shops or at the market mainly from March to October. They are particularly abundant in May, June and July, when domestic produce is available.

 

Appearance, taste, characteristics

Strawberries may be roundish, oval, heart-shaped, tapered to a point or blunt-ended. Their red colour may be lighter or darker, depending on the variety.

 

Botanically, strawberries belong to the so-called accessory or spurious fruits: What is known colloquially as a strawberry is merely a fleshy thickening of the flower's receptacle on which seeds are found. Botanically, these are the actual fruits.

 

Strawberries have a typical aroma. They taste fruity and sweetly acidic. There are more than 1000 varieties; new ones are added each year, while existing ones disappear. Although there are in some cases considerable differences in flavour, strawberries are rarely sold according to variety. Well-known varieties are Elsanta and Senga Sengana.

 

Of no importance on the market is the domestic, wild-growing woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca). Its small fruits are sweet and aromatic. Numerous sub-species have been developed from this variety as well, such as the Alpine strawberry and the European ever-growing strawberry, which bears fruit all summer long, until the first frost. There are also yellow and white varieties that taste somewhat of vanilla.

 

Ingredients

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, containing more than lemons, for instance. More than half of the minimum daily requirement is supplied by 100 g of strawberries. In addition, strawberries are low in calories.

 

100 g contain:

 

 

Strawberry, fresh

Strawberry, preserved (incl. juice)

Energy (kcal)

32

701

Water (g)

89.5

80.5

Protein (g)

0.8

0.6

Fat (g)

0.4

1.2

Carbohydrates (g)

6

161

Fibre (g)

2

n.a.*

Vitamin C (mg)

63

302

Vitamin A (RE) (µg)

3

n.a.*

Folic acid (µg)

43

122

Potassium (mg)

161

963

Sodium (mg)

1.4

8.4

Calcium (mg)

21

7

Magnesium (mg)

13

22

Iron (mg)

0.6

1.9

*n.a.: no data available

Note: As this is a natural product, and as the information is taken from various sources and therefore from different analyses, there may be fluctuations in the nutritional facts. The minerals in particular may fluctuate, since the plant takes these from the soil, the composition of which itself can vary. Its mineral content is influenced, for instance, by fertilization. The footnotes are explained here.

 

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Strawberries must be harvested as ripe as possible. Only then are they truly aromatic and delicious. The quality of their flavour, i.e. sweetness and aroma, cannot be expected to increase after they have been picked. Only the colour becomes a bit darker. Thus a nicely coloured strawberry is not always a guarantee of good flavour!

 

When buying, look for fresh-looking stems and sepals. The fruits should not be squashed. These criteria are easier to follow when you buy loose produce. If the merchant allows, a taste test is recommended. Only this will give you the assurance that the strawberries taste good.

 

The trend to picking them yourself has developed particularly with strawberries, with the advantage that you can choose the nicest fruits.

 

Strawberries are very sensitive and do not keep long. You should not store them for more than 2 days (in the refrigerator).

 

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

Wash the strawberries carefully before removing the stems and sepals.

 

Strawberries find manifold uses. They are most popular eaten fresh, also with cream, curd cheese, yoghurt or ice cream. There are a huge number of different recipes for desserts, strawberry cake, jams, ice cream, cold punch, milkshakes, or cocktails. Strawberries are also suitable in rum pot or as a cordial. They can even be eaten prepared with a touch of freshly ground black pepper or a drop of fine balsamic vinegar.

 

Strawberries are processed industrially as preserves, but this method results in a marked change in the fruit.

 

Seasoning tip

Mint, lemon balm and vanilla all taste good with strawberries.

 

Miscellaneous

- Some people tend to develop a skin rash after eating strawberries. In such cases it is recommended that the strawberries be eaten together with milk. (This does not apply for people who have an allergy to milk protein!)

 

- In the past few years strawberries have been sold increasingly during the winter. They come from Israel or South Africa, for instance, and are harvested unripe, so that they will survive the transport. Accordingly, their flavour leaves much to be desired. Eat your fill of really aromatic strawberries during the summer and choose apples, pears or oranges in the winter.

 

 


 

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