Strawberry is a bright red-colored fruit that is mainly cultivated for its aromatic flavor. Edible strawberry, also called ‘garden strawberry’ belongs to the genus Fragaria and it is generally cultivated in temperate regions. The taste of strawberry varies from sweet to sour but usually it is considered as a sweet fruit. Being a soft and supple fruit that has very less shelf life, it is usually kept in cold conditions while transportation. It is also used as an accessory fruit. The artificial strawberry flavor is widely used in various industrial and packaged food items. Strawberry is widely appreciated for making various strawberry recipes such as strawberry milk shakes, ice creams, strawberry jelly and jams.
History of Strawberry
The garden strawberry or the common edible strawberry is first cultivated in France in 1740. This variety of strawberry was cultivated by combining the different properties of various species from North America, Chile and Argentina. The first species of strawberry cultivated in 17th century was ‘woodland strawberry that was replaced by the species obtained from genus Fragaria.
Culinary Use of Strawberry
As a favorite summer fruit, strawberries are widely used in making various strawberry dishes. Due to its sweet taste and aromatic flavor, strawberry is mostly eaten fresh as a fruit. Fresh strawberries are also used for garnishing of cakes, puddings and pastries. Dairy products also make good use of strawberry in form of milk shakes, ice creams and various kinds of strawberry-flavored yogurts. Dried strawberry is often added to cereal bars and chocolate bars. Strawberry dipped in chocolate is a very delicious dessert served in international cuisine. Some other strawberry recipes include strawberry juice and preserves. Various strawberry-flavored jams and jellies are quiet popular breakfast recipes. In fruit salads and fruit custards, strawberry is always an integral ingredient. Strawberry extract is a widely sold item that can be added as an artificial flavor and coloring to various strawberry dishes.
Popular Strawberry Recipes
Strawberry is an easily available fruit all over the world hence various strawberry dishes are prevailing in different cuisines. Some of them are as follows:
• Strawberry and cream – It is one of the most popular strawberry recipes around the world that is mainly served at Wimbledon.
• Strawberry pie – It is a very popular baked strawberry recipe that is quite famous in global cuisine.
• Strawberry chocolate fondue – In this dish, strawberry is dipped into melted chocolate and served as a dessert.
• Strawberry cake – This is the most common strawberry recipe that is made with little variations in almost all cuisines.
Cuisines Commonly Making Strawberry Dishes
Strawberry recipes are widely prepared in European as well as in American cuisines. Strawberry recipes such as jams and milk shakes are very popular breakfast items in these cuisines. In French cuisine, strawberry Bavarian cream and strawberry charlotte rousse are commonly eaten strawberry desserts. Strawberry vinaigrette and strawberry smoothie are fondly eaten in American cuisines as well as in other global cuisines.
Preferred Methods of Preparing Strawberry Recipes
• Baked – Strawberry is a loved ingredient in baked recipes such as cakes, muffins and pies.
• Pureed – Strawberry is pureed and added to many strawberry recipes such as jams and jellies.
• Blended – Whole and sliced strawberries are blended in food processor with yogurt and milk to make strawberry flavored milk shake and yogurt.
• Boiled – For making hot or cold strawberry soup, this method is used.
• Freeze chilled – Most of the strawberry desserts are freeze chilled before serving.
Nutritive Value of Strawberries
Strawberries are high in vitamin C and contain very less calories. Strawberry also helps in better absorption of body iron as its vitamin C is very helpful in this process. Strawberry dishes contain antibacterial properties that act as a cleanser and purifier for the digestive system. Strawberry is also rich in flavonoids. Potassium and folic acid are also present in abundance in strawberry dishes.
Strawberries Consumption Criteria
Consumption of strawberries may cause allergic reactions in some susceptible persons. The itchy rashes developed after consuming strawberry dishes are known as ‘hives’. People having ‘aspirin’ intolerance should also avoid consumption of strawberries and strawberry dishes as strawberry and aspirin contains the same substance called ‘salicylates’. Strawberry seeds can also cause irritation hence it should be eaten with extra care.
Buying and Storing Strawberries
While buying storing strawberries following points should be kept in mind:
• Strawberries should be plum and having intense fruity fragrance.
• Fresh and bright looking strawberries are always good to purchase.
• Fruit should be free from molds and soft spots.
• Hulled strawberries should not be purchased as they may ripe very fast.
• Strawberries should be stored in refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
• Always wash and store strawberries for longer shelf life.
• Prepared strawberry dishes should be refrigerated for up to 2-3 days.
Types of Strawberries
Strawberry is classified according to 3 types. Following are the same:
• June bearing – These berries are grown in early month of June and only single crop is produced.
• Ever bearing – Strawberries classed under this category have three crops- one in June then in late summers and last one in fall winter. It is a very small type of strawberry.
• Day Neutral – Day neutral strawberries are produced in all the months of summer and have similar size as ever bearing strawberries.
• The name strawberry is given to these berries due to the reason that straw has been used since ages to keep away the fruit from soil.
• There are, on an average, 200 very small seeds present in each strawberry.