Saturday, October 3, 2015

Seedy Saturdays- Strawberries

Happy Saturday everyone!  I know we are out of season now, but today’s blog is about this delicious berry.

The strawberry is another berry native to North America.  Native Americans called them "heart-seed berries" and would pound these red treasures into their traditional cornmeal bread.  In Europe, the strawberry was originally grown more for decoration than for eating.  For example, Charles V had 1200 strawberry plants grown in the Louvre’s royal gardens in Paris.  It would be another century before they were grown and refined for the market. 

An interesting fact about the strawberry is that this plant is a member of the rose family, and did you know that the berry itself holds the actual fruits which are the little seed-like things embedded all over its surface?!  In terms of this fruit’s name, there are many explanations, including the practice of placing straw around the plants as they grew for protection, or the fact that the runners spread outward from the plant and in Anglo-Saxon “spread” translated to strew, which eventually became straw to the English. 

In traditions of love, strawberries were used to show flirtation, signifying an intoxication for someone or the fact that they were delicious to you.  In Art and Literature, this fruit was a symbol of desire and sensuality, and began to be considered an aphrodisiac, because of its high number of tiny seeds.  Lastly, in Norse (Viking) mythology, the goddess Frigga gave strawberries to symbolize spirits of young children that had died as an infant and made their way to heaven inside a strawberry.  

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