How is a strawberry made?
The Strawberry: A Multiple Fruit When we think of fruits and vegetables, we’re pretty sure about which is which. We tend to lump sweet or sour-tasting plants together as fruits, and those plants that are not sugary we consider vegetables. To be more accurate, however, we must consider which part of the plant we are eating.
- While vegetables are defined as plants cultivated for their edible parts, the botanical term “fruit” is more specific.
- It is a mature, thickened ovary or ovaries of a seed-bearing plant, together with accessory parts such as fleshy layers of tissue or “pulp.” Thus, many of the foods we think of casually as fruits, such as rhubarb (of which we eat the leaf stalks), are not fruits at all, and many of our favorite “vegetables” actually fit the definition of fruit, such as the tomato.
As a subcategory of fruits, berries are yet another story. A berry is an indehiscent (not splitting apart at maturity) fruit derived from a single ovary and having the whole wall fleshy. Berries are not all tiny, and they’re not all sweet. Surprisingly, eggplants, tomatoes and avocados are botanically classified as berries.
- And the popular strawberry is not a berry at all.
- Botanists call the strawberry a “false fruit,” a pseudocarp.
- A strawberry is actually a multiple fruit which consists of many tiny individual fruits embedded in a fleshy receptacle.
- The brownish or whitish specks, which are commonly considered seeds, are the true fruits, called achenes, and each of them surrounds a tiny seed.
These achenes also make strawberries relatively high in fiber. According to the Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, one-half cup of strawberries supplies more fiber than a slice of whole wheat bread, and more than 70 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
The cultivated strawberry is a hybrid of two different parent species. Because they are hybrids, cultivated strawberries are often able to adapt to extreme weather conditions and environments. While California and Florida are the largest producers, strawberries are grown in all 50 states. Strawberries are a significant crop in Pennsylvania, but they have a relatively short season.
According to Carolyn Beinlich of Triple B Farms, a local pick-your-own berry farm in Monongahela, Pennsylvania’s ideal strawberry season lasts three and one-half weeks. The plants form their fruit buds in the fall, so adequate moisture at that time is vital.
Since October 1996 was a rainy month, Beinlich is looking forward to a bountiful strawberry crop this season. The recipe shown here is among Beinlich’s favorites for celebrating the strawberry season. For more information about Triple B Farms, call 258-3557. Lynn Parrucci is program coordinator, and Amy Eubanks is a research assistant, at the Science Center’s Kitchen Theater.
Botanist Sue Thompson of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, also contributed to this article. *** Visit the Kitchen Theater at Carnegie Science Center to learn more about the science of cooking, and get a taste of what we’re cooking and a recipe to take home.
1 quart strawberries, washed and drained well, stems removed 3_4 cup white sugar 11_2 Tablespoons cornstarch 1 1/2 cups water 1 3-ounce package strawberry gelatin 1 9-inch baked pie shell
Boil sugar, cornstarch and water until clear (about 10 minutes). Mix well with strawberries and spoon into pie shell. Refrigerate three hours. Top with whipped cream if desired, and serve. Carolyn Beinlich of Triple B Farms will present a cooking demonstration on strawberries at the Science Center’s Kitchen Theater Sunday, June 1, at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
What happens when you add sugar to strawberries?
– Modernist Bread Macerated strawberries demonstrate osmosis at work. Sprinkle sugar on the cut strawberries, and watch how a puddle of syrup collects on the surface. The high amount of sugar outside the strawberry’s cells, combined with sugar’s ability to attract water, causes the water to leach out of the fruit.
The same thing happens to yeast cells—sugar, as well as salt, puts osmotic pressure on the yeast cells, making it harder for them to grow and causing fermentation to take longer. Too much of either can have a crippling effect on the cells. Think of osmosis as the chemical version of water seeking its own level.
Imagine that some very salty water is separated from less salty water by a permeable barrier of some kind, such as the wall around a yeast cell. The water molecules will try to even things up by diffusing from the less salty side to the saltier side until the two solutions are equally salty.
- It is as if there were a pressure pushing on the solution with the higher concentration of water molecules (and thus the lower concentration of salt)—and, in fact, scientists do talk about the osmotic pressure created by a difference in concentrations between adjacent solutions.
- Osmosis can occur in any liquid medium and with any dissolved compound, not just in salty water.
Sugar in a sweetened dough will also exert osmotic stress on the yeasts, for example. Mix salt or sugar into dough, and it dissolves in the watery part of the dough and creates an osmotic pressure that tends to suck water out of the yeast cells. The cells, which have unusually low water activity to begin with, try to hold on to what they have by activating networks of genes that produce glycerol, thus creating an osmotic pressure in the opposite direction.
- The strategy works up to a point—and the glycerol that salt-stressed yeasts produce can actually be useful in certain bread recipes—but the response diverts energy away from reproduction.
- In general, when you make yeast-leavened breads, the more salt or sweeteners added to the flour (which already contains more than enough sugars for yeast to feed on), the slower the yeast activity, unless the yeast strain has been developed specifically to tolerate these ingredients.
The net effect is that yeast doughs generally take longer to rise when they contain a lot of added salt or sugar. : – Modernist Bread
Why is strawberry red?
Colour – The colour of strawberries is due to anthocyanins, mainly pelargonidin 3-glucoside ( fig 1 ). Anthocyanins are water soluble pigments found in plant cells. They are also responsible for the red colour in some autumn leaves. Aside from this, anthocyanins can be used as pH indicators – they are pink in acid, purple in neutral and yellow in alkaline solutions.
How old are strawberries?
History – Fragaria × ananassa ‘Gariguette,’ a cultivar grown in southern France The first garden strawberry was grown in Brittany, France, during the late 18th century. Prior to this, wild strawberries and cultivated selections from wild strawberry species were the common source of the fruit.
The strawberry fruit was mentioned in ancient Roman literature in reference to its medicinal use. The French began taking the strawberry from the forest to their gardens for harvest in the 14th century. Charles V, France’s king from 1364 to 1380, had 1,200 strawberry plants in his royal garden. In the early 15th century western European monks were using the wild strawberry in their illuminated manuscripts.
The strawberry is found in Italian, Flemish, and German art, and in English miniatures. The entire strawberry plant was used to treat depressive illnesses. By the 16th century, references of cultivation of the strawberry became more common. People began using it for its supposed medicinal properties and botanists began naming the different species.
In England the demand for regular strawberry farming had increased by the mid-16th century. The combination of strawberries and cream was created by Thomas Wolsey in the court of King Henry VIII, Instructions for growing and harvesting strawberries showed up in writing in 1578. By the end of the 16th century three European species had been cited: F.
vesca, F. moschata, and F. viridis, The garden strawberry was transplanted from the forests and then the plants would be propagated asexually by cutting off the runners. Two subspecies of F. vesca were identified: F. sylvestris alba and F. sylvestris semperflorens,
The introduction of F. virginiana from eastern North America to Europe in the 17th century is an important part of history because it is one of the two species that gave rise to the modern strawberry. The new species gradually spread through the continent and did not become completely appreciated until the end of the 18th century.
A French excursion journeyed to Chile in 1712, which led to the introduction of a strawberry plant with female flowers that resulted in the common strawberry. The Mapuche and Huilliche Indians of Chile cultivated the female strawberry species until 1551, when the Spanish came to conquer the land.
- In 1765, a European explorer recorded the cultivation of F.
- Chiloensis, the Chilean strawberry.
- At first introduction to Europe, the plants grew vigorously, but produced no fruit.
- French gardeners in Brest and Cherbourg around the mid-18th century first noticed that when F.
- Moschata and F.
- Virginiana were planted in between rows of F.
chiloensis, the Chilean strawberry would bear abundant and unusually large fruits. Soon after, Antoine Nicolas Duchesne began to study the breeding of strawberries and made several discoveries crucial to the science of plant breeding, such as the sexual reproduction of the strawberry which he published in 1766.
- Duchesne discovered that the female F.
- Chiloensis plants could only be pollinated by male F.
- Moschata or F.
- Virginiana plants.
- This is when the Europeans became aware that plants had the ability to produce male-only or female-only flowers.
- Duchesne determined F.
- Ananassa to be a hybrid of F.
- Chiloensis and F.
virginiana,F. ananassa, which produces large fruits, is so named because it resembles the pineapple in smell, taste and berry shape. In England, many varieties of F. ananassa were produced, and they form the basis of modern varieties of strawberries currently cultivated and consumed.