The strawberry is a member of the rose family. The plant produces succulent, red, conical fruit from tiny white flowers, and sends out runners to propagate.
Fragaria virginiana, F. vesca, F. moschata
Common and Other Names:
fraises des bois (strawberries of the woods), erdbeere, fresa, fraise, fragola
Peak season for North America is April to June. Due to the flexibility of the growing seasons in Mexico, California and Florida, and importation from reverse-season areas like South America, strawberries are available pretty much year-round.
Select bright red berries with their caps intact. Smaller berries are usually more sweet and flavorful. Avoid soft, moldy and/or shriveled berries.
Strawberry Varieties / Forms:
The most common variety is a hybrid of the wild Virginia strawberry (native to North America) and a Chilean variety. Forms: Fresh, frozen, and dried.
Strawberries should be eaten as soon as possible. Do not wash until you are ready to consume them. If you must store strawberries, place them on a paper towel in a tightly-covered container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. They may also be frozen whole or in pieces. To freeze, wash and hull, sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar, and toss gently with your hands. Place in freezer containers or zip-top bags. Use within 1 year.
Miscellaneous Strawberry Information:
Strawberries are one of the few sources, along with grapes and cherries, of ellagic acid, a compound which has been shown to prevent carcinogens from turning healthy cells into cancerous ones.