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The characteristics and nutritional values of a unique fruit

Strawberries are not considered fruits by botanists. They are nothing more than the hypertrophic inflorescence of plants belonging to the “Afraria” family, despite their peculiar appearance. Strawberries are unique berries with peculiar qualities due to their unique origins. This pertains to both the nutritional qualities and the cultivation methods.

The reference is to the abundance of vitamins. Strawberries, in fact, contain large concentrations of vitamins A, C, B1, and B2. The same is true of mineral salts, especially those containing calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Additionally, they are a great source of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which mitigate the damaging effects of free radicals and may even prevent cancer. At 27 kcal per 100 grammes, the consumption of calories is moderate.

The different varieties

Strawberries are characterised by numerous varieties, which differ not only in their reproductive mechanisms but also in shape, colour, and taste. Here are the most consumed ones in Italy:

  • Vesca: It is a wild variety characterised by its softness, small size, and acidic flavour.
  • Muscat: It is a very sweet variety, with an elongated shape and a medium-soft consistency.
  • Anabelle: It is cone-shaped. This variety is not sour but rather tasty, so it can easily be eaten raw.
  • Diamond: Hypertrophic variety with a strong red hue dominating the mix. They are mainly consumed raw, as they are very sweet.
  • Sunrise: Recent variety, cultivated mainly in the Piedmont region. It is medium-sweet and very soft.
  • Sabrina: This variety from the Campania region is characterised by its regular shape and medium size. It is sweet and slightly acidic.
  • Candonga: It is a Lucanian variety that stands out for its intense and rather wild flavour. It is mostly used in pastry making.

Strawberries in the kitchen

Strawberries taste best when eaten raw or combined with cream. They are typically eaten submerged in liqueur or white wine in southern Italy (as in Zibibbo). Strawberries can also be used in more intricate recipes, particularly those for confections. In addition to creams, sorbets, and other treats, there are lots of strawberry cake recipes. They are also well suited for sui generis preparations, such as creative tiramisu variations.

Strawberries can act as the main ingredient in jams, marmalades, and compotes, which are eaten raw, spread on bread, or inside delicious tarts. Below, you will find a large selection of recipes enhanced by the presence of this fruit.

Strawberries can trigger an allergic reaction, especially in children under two years of age. Strawberry allergy is a pseudoallergy caused by histamine that does not involve the immune system. Skin, respiratory, or gastrointestinal symptoms are possible.

What are the benefits of strawberries?

As we have seen, the nutritional profile of strawberries is really excellent. It is therefore worth talking about the benefits that this splendid fruit brings to the body.

  • It helps prevent cancer: Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, such as lutein and lycopene. These substances regulate the processes of cellular regeneration; therefore, they intervene in the mechanisms of tumour formation.
  • It’s good for the skin: It preserves the skin’s glow and elasticity. The credit goes to the abundance of vitamin A, which is quite rare in fruits of this type.
  • It benefits your dental health: This alludes to the ingredient xylitol, which is frequently present in toothpastes. Xylitol works to keep teeth bright white by preventing the buildup of dental plaque.
  • It is good for the immune system: In this situation, vitamin C is important. This particular vitamin is evidently not exclusive to strawberries, as it may be found in a wide variety of plant-based foods.

How to grow strawberries

Is it possible to grow strawberries in your own garden? Obviously yes. Cultivation of strawberries does not require too much effort and is within everyone’s reach; all it takes is a little patience and a few precautions.

Strawberries require rich, soft soil that is free of standing water in order to grow. As seen from this angle, the plant is actually extremely delicate.

As regards sowing, the advice is to proceed better with transplanting a seedling; in fact, managing the seeds is not easy. The harvest should take place in February, although the strawberry season lasts until late May. Sometimes it lasts until the middle of June or early July.

Since strawberries are extremely sensitive to heat, they need to be watered often and in large quantities. To prepare the plant for the sun’s heat, it is advisable to water it early in the morning.

Curiosities and FAQs about strawberries

How many strawberries can you eat in a day?

Strawberries do not boast major contraindications; however, excessive consumption can lead to allergic reactions. As a rule, it is best not to exceed 200 grammes per day.

When is the season for strawberries?

Strawberries are seasonal and occur between the end of winter and late spring. You can find them fresh from February to May, although they can last until late June and beyond.

How do you keep strawberries from going bad?

The method is also used for other foods at risk of going bad. To prevent the strawberries from going bad, just let them rest in slightly acidulated water with a drop of lemon juice.

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