Friday, 6 June 2014

Seasonal Sensations: Strawberry and Fiddlehead Trivia

Photo source Pixabay, used under creative commons.

It's that time of year again! Warm weather, singing birds, buzzing mosquitoes, and some of the first local produce of the season. Today, we have some tasty trivia about two of our favourite local treats, strawberries and fiddleheads. 


Strawberries


  • According to botanists, the strawberry is not a "true berry." True berries, such as blueberries and cranberries have seeds inside. The strawberry, however has its dry, yellow seeds on the outside.
  • On the average, there are 200 tiny seeds in every strawberry.
  • 23,000 acres of strawberries are planted in California each year.
  • In some places of Bavaria, country folk practice a spring ritual of tying small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle as an offering to wood elves. The legend states that the elves, who love strawberries, will offer their gratitude producing healthy calves and an abundance of milk.


Photo source Wikipedia, used under creative commons.


  • Madame Tallien, a French noblewoman at the time of Napoleon, used to take straberry juice baths on a regular basis to improve her health.


Fiddleheads


Photo source Wikimedia Commons, used under creative commons.

  •  Edible fiddleheads come from the Ostrich Fern, which gets its name from its resemblance to giant feathers.
  • Fiddleheads are in their coiled form for only about 2 weeks (in May in eastern Canada) before they unfurl. Once the leaves grow beyond 7.5 centimetres they become too bitter to eat.
  • The Maliseet have traditionally harvested fiddleheads as a spring tonic and sold them at local markets.

Photo source Wikipedia, used under creative commons.

  •  Ferns (and fiddleheads) have been around since before the age of the dinosaurs!
  • Researchers at the Agriculture Canada Research Station in Kentville, NS, claim that  fiddleheads contain twice the antioxidants of blueberries and omega-3 fatty acids that are normally found only in fish.

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