Traditional Foods

Strawberries

Indigenous peoples of North and South America have enjoyed strawberries for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years. Wild strawberries are smaller and sweeter than the berries grown today. The name strawberry comes from an English word that refers to how the plants tend to stray, meaning the plant spreads out as it grows.

Traditionally time was based on nature’s cycles. For Native American tribes in the eastern part of North America, June is known as the “Strawberry Moon” because strawberries start to ripen during that moon cycle. The Wampanoag and other tribes still hold celebrations and powwows in honor of the Strawberry Moon.

About

Strawberries can be enjoyed fresh, frozen, or dried.

When choosing fresh berries, pick ones that are firm with a natural shine, red color and bright green stems.
Once strawberries are picked, they do not ripen or become sweeter. If there is any whiteness around the stem, the berry was picked before it was fully ripe.

Strawberries are high in vitamin C.

Storage

Strawberries will stay fresh in the fridge for 1 to 3 days.

Store unwashed and with the stems for best flavor and texture.

Remove berries that are bruised, smashed or moldy before storing.

Store berries in a container that allows for some air flow; the store package or a box or bag with holes will work.

Preparation

Wash fruits under cold running water.

Remove stems with a knife, straw, or stem remover. Cut off any discolor or area with damage or bruising.

Berries should be used right away after washing or frozen in a food safe storage bag. Be sure to dry with a paper towel before freezing.

Adapted from Murphy, H. (n.d.). Foods Indigenous to the Western Hemisphere: Strawberry from http://www.aihd.ku.edu/foods/strawberry.html, https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/strawberries and
https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/michigan_fresh_strawberries.

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