They're Berry Tasty
The strawberry, or Fragaria Ananassa as it’s less commonly known, first appeared in Europe during the 18th century. Strawberries have a very long history indeed and have been enjoyed since as far back as Roman times. Native to many different parts of the world, hundreds of varieties of strawberries exist nowadays, due to different crossbreeding techniques that have developed over the years. In 1714, a French engineer who had been commissioned to Chile & Peru, found that the strawberry native to those regions was in fact, much larger than those which had previously been found in Europe. It was then that he decided to bring a sample of this strawberry back with him, in order to cultivate in France. The end result was a large, juicy and sweet hybrid, which we know now as the modern garden strawberry.
Strawberries today are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fibre. Five strawberries (or a half a serving) contain more antioxidant power than three apples or four bananas and provide more vitamin C than an entire orange. While these sweet berries have powerful antioxidant content, another added benefit for them is that they do not rapidly boost a person’s blood sugar, making them an ideal choice for those who have diabetes, and a safe, delicious addition to any diet.
Strawberries, as it turns out are not actually fruits at all. Their seeds are on the outside, making the strawberry plants, runners, as they are not produced by the seeds. Strawberries also have on average approximately 200 seeds per fruit.
Keeling’s are the only grower producing 100% tabletop strawberries in Ireland. A method of growing strawberries that limits the build-up of pests and diseases, thus ensuring the highest quality strawberries. In 2009, they built a new state of the art strawberry glasshouse on their farm, resulting in the ability to produce over 100 million Irish Strawberries for the Irish market and extend the season into December.
This month's Strawberries at Keeling's Select comes from Keeling's Own Farm in County Dublin.