You can do so much with strawberries from making vinegars to jam to plucking them straight from the plant and popping them in your mouth as the juice runs down .
Make the most of them this month whether you are growing them in your garden, foraging or going to your local PYO.
Summer wouldn’t be the same without a bowl of strawberries and copious amounts of fresh cream. It was one of my Mums favourite things. She always enjoyed them at Wimbledon and grew wild strawberries in our garden.
Wild Strawberries have been around for thousands of years. In Roman literature they talk about using them to treat everything from depression to fainting to bad breath and sore throats.
Yet strawberries haven’t always been so fashionable throughout history. During the Tudor period the English believed that raw fruit was dangerous. This continued up until the Age of Enlightenment which began in the 17th. They were always cooked and stewed.
Thankfully for us the Victorians were huge fans of strawberries combined with being avid horticulturists and kept breeding new varieties. It is thanks to them the American Virgina Strawberry was cross bred with the larger Chilean strawberry to give us the big juicy British Strawberries that we enjoy and recognise today.
Ever wondered why strawberries smell so good?
As a child I would love smelling them and my Mum would take me to the woods to gather wild strawberries. You could always smell them before seeing them! The reason they smelt so sweet is that they are a member of the rose family. This year the roses have been amazing – lets hope strawberries are the same!
The seeds you see on the outside of a strawberry are actually the plant’s ovaries and are called achenes. Each seed is technically a separate fruit that has a seed inside of it.
Most strawberries are not actually grown from seeds though. As strawberry plants grow, they send out thin growths that look like strings. When they reach the ground, they send roots into the soil. The roots produce new strawberry plants.
We love the fact we are going to have more and more strawberry plants in our garden every year due to this.
Strawberries and Wimbledon
You can’t talk about British Strawberries and not talk about Wimbledon!
Strawberries and Cream were first served at Wimbledon in 1877. The development of the railway during the 19th Century meant fruit could be picked and transported to London the same day to ensure its freshness. It is still the same today with strawberries being picked at 4am, collected at 9am and delivered by 11am for inspection and hulling.
Last year Elys Department store experimented with a variation on the traditional strawberries and cream and served Strawberries and Salad Cream for £4.20 a pop. I can confirm Duncan tried it for research purposes and he wouldn’t recommend it!
Try Duncan’s Strawberry Salsa instead – perfect with fish, meat or on it’s own. The flavours get even better after a couple of days in the fridge.
.🍓15 – 20 fresh strawberries chopped and washed.
🍓1/2 a red onion chopped.
🍓1 Chili if you want a bit of heat – I like a Red Serenade
🍓Handful of Coriander finely chopped – use basil or mint if coriander tastes like soap to you.
🍓the juice of 1/2 a lime (spanish limes are in season)
🍓Grate in some Ginger
🍓Salt and pepper to taste.
Want to join us for our strawberry week in our Food Collective? Pop over and say hi. https://www.facebook.com/groups/seasonalfoodcollective/