Summary of The Unbelievable History of Strawberries

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The strawberry is a fruit with a long and varied history. It was initially bred in Europe, but the varieties we eat today originated in the Americas. The strawberry is now one of the most popular fruits in the world, and is grown in many different countries.

  • 00:00:00 In this food history video, we learn about the strawberry, its origins, and its significance. Strawberries have been appreciated by humans for thousands of years, and multiple cultures throughout North America, Europe, and Asia have developed and consumed strawberries independently. The word "strawberry" appears to originate from the Anglo-Saxons, and the strawberry's cultivation began in France in the 1300s.
  • 00:05:00 The strawberries we eat today originated in the Americas, and were not the typical variety that Europeans were familiar with. Europeans discovered the American strawberries and were impressed by their size and flavor. The strawberries remained popular in the colonies that were established there, but throughout the 16th century the Europeans who stayed in Europe continued eating the varieties they had at home. An unknown cook in the service of Thomas Woolsey, the king's right-hand man, is often credited with being the first to pair strawberries with cream. In the 17th century, Europeans were importing the strawberries from the Americas back to Europe. French botanist Antoine Nicolas Nicolas Kane was the first to identify why this was the case. The Chilean strawberry, Fregaria chilewensis, is a dioecious or unisexual plant, meaning each plant produces flowers that have only one biological sex. This is in contrast to certain other flowering plants, even other strawberries, which are monocarps or polycarps. The Chilean strawberry was not very hardy, but was rather large and would undoubtedly be of interest to farmers back home. However, there was a problem: when the Chilean plants Frasier brought back were rarely producing fruit, even if they were planted around other species, eventually
  • 00:10:00 The strawberry is a fruit that has a long history, dating back to the 1700s. The strawberry was initially bred in Europe, by the French, English, and Dutch. Today, the strawberry is more popular than ever, and the varieties available are greater than ever. China, the United States, and Mexico are the top three producers of strawberries, and they produce well over half of all strawberries grown worldwide.

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