For The Love Of Strawberries!
It is very interesting to note that strawberries were mentioned in poems by great poets and historians like Virgil; Ovid; and Pliny.
Apulius and Nicholas Myrepsus mentioned strawberries for their medicinal values and treating various ailments. In the 13th century the strawberry was known to be an aphrodisiac and was used to lure both men and women.
Strawberries come in different species like the vesca, moschata, viridis, Virginian and many more came after that.
In the 1300's strawberry was in cultivation in Europe and the French began planting the strawberries in their gardens. It is mentioned that in 1368 King Charles V made his gardener plant 1,200 strawberries in the royal gardens of the Louvre in Paris.
The Dukes of Burgundy had four blocks of strawberry garden which was given good care and fertilization.
Strawberries symbolized prosperity, peace and perfection, and for those reasons strawberries were served at medieval state events. It is also known that strawberries are consumed between tennis matches at the Wimbledon by rich English audience and visitors.
Several varieties of strawberries were cultivated in different parts of the world with their own kind of cultivation and fertilization. Strawberries were cultivated in America in 1835. The Hoveg variety was imported from France in 1834 and brought to Massachusetts to be cultivated.
Strawberries are non-fat and low in calories. They are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. Strawberries are used in treating sunburn, discolored teeth, digestion and gout.
Theresa Tallien invented the use of strawberries in cosmetic and facial treatments. Now in the 20th century strawberries are used in shampoos, moisturizers, cleansers, soaps, perfumery, lipsticks and many more.
The American Indians are said to have invented the strawberry shortcake, and used mashed berries to make bread. Strawberries are widely used in pies, wine making, jams, jellies, preserves, dressings, ice cream, salads, juice, and as toppings for cakes and dipped in melted chocolate for a scrumptious treat.
Some Recipes with Strawberries:
Ingredients and Procedure: 1 cup fresh strawberries; ¼ cup wine vinegar; 1/3 cup olive oil; salt and pepper. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree till smooth. Pour in a bottle and refrigerate. Use when needed.
Note: This dressing can be used as a marinade for chicken; pork; and seafood. To make into strawberry sauce for toppings omit the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and add 2 tbsps. sugar and 1 cup strawberry juice, thicken with 2 tsps. Cassava flour and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour into jars and use when needed.
Fresh Strawberry pie:
Ingredients and Procedure: 1 ½ cup ground graham cracker crumbs, 1 tbsp. butter, and 1 tbsp sugar. Combine all ingredients and pour and press into bottom of a 9 inch pie platter. Bake 350 degrees for 12 minutes and remove from oven and cool.
Arrange fresh whole strawberries on the prepared graham pie plate. The top leaf of the strawberries must be removed. Set aside. In a mixer bowl beat well 1pkg of 8oz cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar, ¾ cup heavy cream and whip well till all blended. Pour onto strawberries and freeze. When slightly frozen swirl with melted chocolate. Top with chopped almonds and serve.