Strawbar A History of Strawberries

A Short History of Strawberries

A Short History of Strawberries 750 750 Ben Franks

Strawberries. We all love them, but what’s their history? Where do they come from? Today we’re most familiar with the “garden strawberry”, a widely grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria.

This juicy, sweet and familiar berry was first cultivated in 1750s Brittany, France via a cross of Fragaria virginiana from North America and Fragaria chiloensis, which was brought from Chile by Amédée-François Frézier in 1714. By 2017, 9.2 million tonnes of strawberries are grown each year and, believe it or not, China makes up 40% of that total.

However, Fragaria – the genus colloquially described as “wild strawberries” – has been around for much longer than our garden favourite. Ancient Roman literature described the fruit’s medical use and the French documented foraging for wild strawberries and cultivating them in their garden during the 14th Century.

In England, the famous strawberries and cream combo was coined in 1578 by the English archbishop Thomas Wolsely during the court of King Henry VIII. By the end of the 16th Century, three European species of strawberry were recorded.

Today, while the garden strawberry dominates, cultivars of strawberry vary widely. Size, shape, fertility, sweetness, colour and flavour all vary from strain to strain. The berries grown in Florina, north-west Greece, are tiny and delicate but sweet and intensely aromatic. They are also very nutrient-rich and full of antioxidants.

When they are harvested for distilling into Strawbar, you must be careful with them. This means every berry is handpicked, handwashed and sorted before fermentation. They are lightly crushed and any waste seeds and pulp are drawn off and used for a range of skin products thanks to the naturally nutrient-rich benefits. Nothing goes to waste!

We need to use a lot of these incredible strawberries to make each bottle of Strawbar but as soon as you pull the lid from the bottle the room will be filled with strawberry aromas. The result is a flavoursome, truly unique spirit unlike anything else on the market. When you treat the local produce with the love and care it deserves, we expect nothing but the best in the bottle.

Aren’t strawberries incredible?

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