British strawberries will be available in abundance from early May this year – three weeks earlier than last year, as a result of the mild winter and arrival of Mediterranean temperatures this spring.
The British strawberry season was just six weeks long 25 years ago, but decades of industry investment in new varieties and protective covers means that strawberry-lovers can enjoy the quintessentially British fruit for more than half the year! Did you know…?
- The boffins at Harvard University recommend that we eat blueberries and strawberries at least three times a week. Sounds good to us!
- Fibre slows glucose entering the body, helping reduce sugar intake – and guess what’s high in fibre and low in sugar? Tasty strawberries!
- Did you know strawberries are powerful teeth whiteners? They contain Vitamin C which helps fight plaque. Now that’s something to smile about…
- Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside!
- In the 16th Century strawberries were sold in cone-shaped straw baskets thus becoming one of the earliest packaged foods.
- Strawberries were regarded as an aphrodisiac in medieval times and a soup with the berries, borage and soured cream was traditionally served to newlyweds at their wedding breakfast.
- 17th Century English writer Dr. William Butler originated the famous quotation about strawberries ‘Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did’.
- Legend has it that if you break a strawberry in half and share it with a member of the opposite sex, you will fall in love with each other. The only problem is not being able to keep the whole punnet to yourself…
Our growers have spent years investing in the industry to make sure that strawberry fans have a huge selection of varieties to choose from, including all these ones:
- ELSANTA An established Dutch variety, which are large, firm and glossy and widely available in the UK.
- SONATA Slightly juicier and with a sweeter taste than Elsanta, Sonata strawberries are generally bigger and likely to be heart-shaped.
- SWEET EVE Crops well throughout the summer, and higher in natural sugar than other varieties.
- DRISCOLL’S JUBILEE Perfect heart-shaped variety with naturally sweet taste and distinctive fresh aroma.
- AVA ROSA A Scottish berry launched this year characterised by large, full colour berries with a very sweet flavour.
- RED GLORY A high yielding variety producing medium-sized, conical, glossy, orange/red fruit.
- CAPRI LUSCIOUS red in colour with a big flavour, conically shaped with a juicy but firm bite.
And the good news is, we don’t have to wait until the next British strawberry season to enjoy this healthy treat, because they are grown in Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Israel:
They’re also packed full of vitamins and nutrients…