Nothing screams spring quite like strawberries. The first fruit of the year to ripen have been popular for centuries, thanks to their sweet, juicy flavor.
Lauded in Roman times for having a slew of medicinal properties, these antioxidant-rich berries were thought to cure fevers, fainting and kidney stones.
In celebration of National Strawberry Day, here are seven facts you didn’t know about everyone’s favorite berry. Strawberry fields forever, indeed.
1. The Largest Strawberry In The World Weighed Over Half A Pound
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the heaviest strawberry ever recorded was grown in 2015 by Koji Nakao of Japan. This massive berry clocked in at a whopping 8.8 ounces. For comparison, a typical medium-sized strawberry weighs just one ounce.
2. Strawberries And Cream Are The Food Of Choice At Wimbledon
Hot dogs and baseball, chicken wings and football, strawberries and…tennis? Since 1877, strawberries and cream have been a staple treat eaten during Wimbledon.
Before refrigeration, strawberries were considered an upper-class delicacy, thanks to their short shelf life. As strawberry season coincided with Wimbledon, the upper echelon of society made this simple dessert a staple of the games.
3. Nobody Knows Where The “Straw” In “Strawberries” Originated
The word “strawberry” comes from the Old English words streowberie or streawbelige, but nobody knows why. There are a few theories about how they got their name. The “straw” bit could come from the straw that was used to keep the berries fresh, or it could come from “strewed,” which means to spread wide.
4. The Largest Strawberry Shortcake In the World Weighed Over Ten Tons And Covered Over 2,000 Square Feet
Everything’s bigger in Texas – even their strawberry shortcake. Hosted in Pasadena, Texas, the annual strawberry festival claimed the Guinness Book of World Records title for biggest strawberry shortcake ever made in 2014. This massive cake covered over 2,000 square feet and weighed 21,578 pounds.
5. Strawberries Are The Only Fruit With Seeds On The Outside
Strawberries are a member of the rose family and the only fruit with their seeds on their flesh. Typically, each berry is dotted with upwards of 200 seeds.
6. The Town Of Wépion, Belgium Has A Strawberry Museum
The town of Wépion is considered Belgium’s strawberry capital. This quaint town has a combination of a microclimate and excellent soil quality ideal for growing strawberries.
The town is so famed for their strawberries that they even have a museum solely dedicated to these sweet berries called the Musée de la Fraise. There you’ll find everything from strawberry jam, candies, syrups, and even beer.
7. Madame Tallien Had A Penchant For Bathing In Strawberry Juice
Madame Tallien, a member of Napoleon’s court, was known for bathing in fresh strawberry juice. It took a staggering 22 pounds of berries to fill her basin. Needless to say, this wasn’t a daily, or even weekly occurrence. Sounds pretty sticky to us.