The strawberry plant is a member of the Rosaceae family and the genus, Fragaria. Against the common belief that strawberry is a fruit, the fleshy red outgrowth is actually the receptacle of the strawberry flower. Therefore, it is also known as a "false fruit". Historians believe that the strawberry plant was first found in ancient Rome in 234 B.C., and was commonly used for medicinal purposes. The Europeans first discovered strawberries in the year 1588, in America. The strawberry plants found native in North America, were superior to all European varieties in size, flavor, and beauty. Many new varieties were developed in the 1700s in North America. They were developed from the cross breeding of American and European varieties. California produces 80% of the strawberries that are consumed in North America.
Strawberries provide a rich source of vitamins and minerals. They contain a high content of Vitamin C, which has been known to be a deterrant to some forms of cancer. They also prevent oxidation of LDL or bad cholesterol. Strawberries are low in calories and very nutritious. One cup of sliced strawberries has 50 calories, 11.5 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, and 45 mg of potassium.
Do not wash until you are ready to eat. While it is better to eat as soon as possible, they can be stored in a tight container for up to 3 days. To freeze, gently wash, dry and remove caps. Freeze on a tray and then transfer to a bag. Take out the air and seal. They can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months.