Facts & Folkore:
Surprisingly, the strawberry is not, from a botanical point of view, a berry! Technically, it is an aggregate accessory fruit - each apparent "seed" on the outside of the fruit is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it. In the early 15th century western European monks were using the wild strawberry in their illuminated manuscripts. The strawberry is found in Italian, Flemish, and German art, and in English miniatures. The entire strawberry plant was used to treat depressive illnesses. The very first garden strawberry was grown in Brittany, France, during the late 18th century. Prior to this, wild strawberries and cultivated selections from wild strawberry species were the common source of the fruit. In ancient times, pregnant women believed if they ate strawberries their children would be born with strawberry birth marks! And according to European folklore, if two people share a double strawberry they'll fall in love. In the UK, "strawberries and cream" is a popular dessert at the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Strawberries and cream is also a staple snack in Mexico, usually available at ice cream parlors. And in Sweden, strawberries are a traditional dessert served on St John's Day, Midsummer's Eve. Depending on your area, strawberry pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, or strawberry shortcake are delicious regional favourites. And for a cream tea, strawberry jam is the jam of choice! 🍓🍓🍓
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