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May's Tag Game ~ Las Fresas ~ Strawberries
Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:37 pmForum Host
~ Strawberries, known as fresas in Spanish, are a hybrid species grown worldwide for its delicious, sweet and juicy fruit. It belongs to the genus Fragaria in the Rosaceae (rose) family. Strawberries are the only fruit in which the seeds appear on the outside.
The first garden strawberries were grown in France in the late 18th century. Prior to this, only wild species of strawberries were the common source of the fruit, and were mentioned in literature as early as the late 1300s, referencing its medicinal uses. The French brought the strawberry from the forest to plant in their gardens, and the flowering-variety of strawberry plants became quite popular in royal ornamental gardens. Most strawberry species at first flowered but didn’t bear any fruit until about 1551 when the Spanish eventually conquered the land and introduced the strawberries to Europe. New fruit-bearing species then gradually spread throughout the continent. But strawberries were not fully appreciated until the late 18th century.
There is a multitude of different strawberry varieties available now that vary in size, color, shape and flavor; far too many varieties to mention all of them here. Many types of strawberries are preferred for consumption while others are far more preferred for their ornamental value. For instance, the Royal Horticultural Society has given the Award of Garden Merit to the Cambridge Favorite, Hapil, Honeoye, Pegasus, Rhapsody, and Symphony varieties for their outstanding rating as a garden decoration.
This site’s dictionary states, “The most common American variety [of strawberry] is the result of crossbreeding the wild Virginia strawberry and a Chilean variety. This has produced a hardy berry that is able to withstand both shipping and storage. More flavorful is the European Alpine strawberry – tiny, exquisitely sweet wild strawberries of France known as fraises des bois. They are considered to be the "queen of strawberries." In general, the flavor of the smaller berries is better than the larger varieties since the latter are often watery. The strawberry probably got its name originally from the Anglo-Saxon word streawberige, which means “spreading berry.”
Spain is the world’s third largest producer of strawberries, producing about 275,300 tons in the year 2010. The U.S. takes the top honors for production, however, producing more than 1.2 million tons of strawberries in 2010.
In Spain, strawberries are in season in late April to June, and they are grown primarily in the Huelva area (Andalusia region) of Spain, which produces more than 50% of Spain’s total strawberry crop. They are used widely in many world cuisines though, and in fact they are so popular today that many cultures have strawberry festivals to promote and celebrate the annual harvest of this much-loved favorite fruit. And many world cuisines have popular dishes—especially postres (desserts)—that feature the fresa (strawberry) as a main ingredient.
~ In fact, if you’re lucky enough to visit Spain anytime during May and June, be sure to hop on the Strawberry Train (or El Tren de la Fresa, in Spanish) that runs south from Madrid to Aranjuez. The train is itself a museum of sorts that celebrates the 160 year history of the rail (which, in the early years, Aaranjuez was reached only by the second railway line built in Spain in 1851, departing from Madrid, and thereafter was commonly called the “Strawberry Train” because it passed through some of the largest and most impressive strawberry fields in all of Spain). The railway still exists today, and special excursions coincide with local strawberry festivals every spring, featuring an authentic steam locomotive and restored vintage wooden passenger coaches. And as you take in the scenery along the route you can also enjoy the famous Aranjuez strawberries which are served to you by stewardesses dressed in period costumes of the Spanish 19th century.
Cooking With Strawberries
~ Strawberries are valued not only for their delicious flavor, but also for their sweet aroma, deep red color and juicy texture. They are an excellent choice for preserving (jams, jellies, preserves, syrups), processing into fruit juice, adding to cakes, pies, milkshakes and smoothies, candy, ice creams and sorbets, and chocolate. They can also be frozen or dried easily, and they’re excellent as additions to breakfast cereals, salads, yogurt and a plethora of delicious desserts and sweet dishes (postre or dulce in Spanish).
Strawberries pair quite nicely with almonds, apricots, balsamic vinegar, bananas, basil, brown sugar, caramel, Cassis, Cava (Champagne), cinnamon, coconut, Cognac, Cointreau, cream, cream cheese, creme fraiche, currants, figs, Grand Marnier, grapefruit, guavas, Kirsch, kiwi, lemon, lime, maple syrup, mascarpone, nuts, oranges, passion fruit, peaches, pepper, pineapple, port, raspberries, rhubarb, sambuca, sherry, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, violets, wine, and yogurt.
Nutrition and Health Benefits
Strawberries are considered a ‘superfood’ by many health and diet programs for their exceptional health benefits. For instance, the nutrient-rich strawberry is an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids and a good source of folate, potassium, fiber, and manganese (which is essential for bone health), and they are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. A one-cup serving of fresh strawberries contains about 45 calories and provides an average adult more than 136% of one’s daily recommendation of Vitamin C.
~ Strawberries help to keep digestion regular and lower blood pressure, and they help to curb overeating. The phenoids in strawberries also help to fight against inflammatory disorders such as osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis. Best Health Magazine states that strawberries can also boost immunity, promote eye health, help fight some cancers, improve skin elasticity (important for anti-aging properties), fight “bad” cholesterol, reduce inflammation, regulate blood pressure, boost fiber (important in fighting diverticulitis and constipation), maintain healthy weight (particularly important as a defense against type 2 diabetes), and promote proper pre-natal health.
~ TAG GAME – STRAWBERRIES ~
FEATURED SPANISH RECIPES
~ Blonde Sangria By Laurita
The beverage most associated with Spain, this version of Sangria features plenty of fresh strawberries in a lovely white wine base.
~ Lavender Flan by cookiedog
The delectable, creamy custard base of this delicious flan recipe is garnished with plenty of fresh strawberries.
~ Lightly Peppered Strawberries by Sharon123
Fresh summer strawberries are taken to a new level with a few surprising ingredients in this delicious appetizer recipe.
TAPAS (Appetizers and Snacks)
Fresh Strawberry Sandwich
Strawberries and Nutella
Almond and Strawberry Bread
Strawberries With Lemon-Honey Syrup
Berry-Melon Agua Fresca
The BEST Strawberry Smoothie EVER!
White Strawberry Sangria
Strawberry Ice Cream Sodas
Bora Bora Sangria
Portuguese Healthy Breakfast
Berry-Smash Muffins (Strawberry Muffins)
Summer Fruit Soup
Strawberry Sweetheart Streusel Muffins
Pancakes With Fresh Strawberries
Marinated Asparagus and Strawberry Salad
Mixed Lettuces With Strawberries, Goat Cheese and Pecans
Spinach Strawberry Salad
Strawberry Romaine Salad
Strawberry Salad W/ Poppy Seed Dressing
POSTRES (Desserts – Cakes, Pies)
Portuguese Strawberries in Port (Morangos Em Porto
The Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry Fool (Light)
Strawberry Coconut Salad
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry Basil Sorbet
Simple Strawberry Sorbet
Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream
Hot Strawberry Sundaes
Traditional Banana Split
JAMS, JELLIES, PRESERVES
Classic Strawberry Jam
Kiwi Strawberry Daiquiri Jam
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Strawberry Peach Jam
Strawberry and Rainier Cherry Jam
Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:38 pmForum Host
Participants' Strawberry Recipes:
NorthwestGal’s Strawberry Recipes
Raspberry Revolution Smoothie (Nordstrom) #485094
Passion Fruit Mimosa #455532
Plantation Skillet Cake #449526 (any fresh berries, which strawberry is one option)
I-Love-You Scones #353869
Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:39 pmForum Host
Strawberry Fool (Light)
Last edited by Lalaloula on Thu May 02, 2013 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total
Wed May 01, 2013 8:26 amForum Host
I'm going to start off by tagging justcallmetoni's Strawberry Fool (Light) #134216
And I'm sure I'll be back soon to tag other strawberry recipes.
Thu May 02, 2013 2:28 pmForum Host
Ive noted your lovely sounding tag above.
I hope our strawberries will start coming in soon, too. Id love to make some delish strawberry recipes.
Wed May 29, 2013 5:17 pmForum Host
I have made and reviewed justcallmetoni's DELICIOUS Strawberry Fool (Light) #134216. It was so good and definitely something I will keep in mind for a light but delicious dessert when we have company over for dinner.
Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:57 pmForum Host
I wanna play! I will make:
Lightly Peppered Strawberries by Sharon123
Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:20 pmForum Host
Here you go! Recipe reviewed! That was quick, huh?!
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