Fresh strawberries. They’re one of the most popular and refreshing treats anywhere. Healthy too! And perfect for everything from cheesecake to mojitos to jam. May is National Strawberry Month, so get out your cookbooks. Strawberries and spring go together perfectly, so May is the right time to celebrate. And since their peak picking season starts in April, there will be plenty of juicy blooms.
National Strawberry Month - History
A new strawberry type
The garden strawberry is created in Brittany, France by crossing the Fragaria virginiana, a strawberry from eastern North America, with the Fragaria chiloensis — from the Pacific.
Bigger and better
Amédée François Frézier, a French explorer and engineer, introduced France to the Fragaria chiloensis — a larger, New World strawberry — after discovering it in Chile.
They’re discovered in the Americas
English settlers who landed in landed in Jamestown, Virginia, discovered an abundance of wild strawberries.
National Strawberry Month Activities
1. Go strawberry picking
You can never pick too many strawberries, especially in May.
2. Host a picnic
May is perfect picnic weather, so invite friends and family to a picnic featuring a variety of strawberry dishes. From strawberry cocktails to kid-friendly smoothies, it's a fun way to celebrate this refreshing fruit.
3. Explore new dishes
Strawberries can be used in savory dishes, sweet treats, or in beverages. So this May, celebrate by searching for new recipes. Not only will this give you more opportunities to eat a lot of strawberries, but you’ll also expand your cooking and baking repertoire.
Five Juicy Tidbits About Strawberries
1. Strawberries are high in Vitamin C
Eating eight strawberries is all it takes to consume 140 percent of a child’s recommended daily intake of Vitamin C.
2. You can find them all over the U.S.
Strawberries are grown in all fifty states.
3. They’re related to a popular flower
Strawberries belong to the Rosaceae flowering plant family, which is also the family of the rose.
4. Strawberries aren’t berries
Fruits that fall into the berry category have seeds on the inside, not the outside
5. They're very, well...stimulating
The French are convinced that strawberries serve as a powerful aphrodisiac — so much so that it’s a tradition in a French countryside to serve cold strawberry soup to newlyweds.
Why We Love National Strawberry Month
A. Strawberries are good for you
Strawberries give your body high levels of polyphenols, an antioxidant, as well as vitamins and fiber. Added bonuses? They're also fat, sodium and cholesterol free. Plus — they're low in calories, making them a great snack.
B. They're synonymous with warmer weather
Their peak season lasts from April through June. So if you're a lover of the warmer seasons, you can start getting excited when you see baskets of strawberries popping up in supermarkets.
C. It’s an excuse to overindulge on strawberries
French toast with strawberry jam, a salad topped with strawberries, and pork chops with a strawberry glaze — just a few examples of how to include this fruit all day long.