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Celebrate National Strawberry Month with Strawberry Tea

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May 29, 2020

Happy National Strawberry Month! With their irresistible red color, sweet flavor, and juicy consistency, strawberries are one of the world’s most beloved fruits. Surprisingly, the strawberry actually earned its popularity centuries before the fruit was first cultivated.

Fun Facts About Strawberries

  • Despite their name, strawberries are not technically berries; true berries have their seeds on the inside. In fact, strawberries are considered an “accessory fruit.”
  • The average American eats 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries each year.
  • The modern strawberry shortcake recipe was inspired by a Native American dish, in which crushed berries were mixed with cornmeal and baked in an oven. 
  • The largest strawberry shortcake in world history weighed an astounding 6,000 pounds, and was 827 square feet in size.
  • Peak strawberry harvest season in the United States is between April and June.
  • The average strawberry contains 200 seeds.

Celebrate National Strawberry Month with Strawberry Tea

  • Strawberry Cuppa Chocolate Tea – Reminiscent of a chocolate covered strawberry, this delicious dessert tea is the ultimate guilt-free indulge. Herbal rooibos tea serves as the base for this decadent blend of sweet strawberry and rich chocolate flavors.
  • Strawberry Basil Iced Green Tea – When the weather heats up, keep your cool with this ultra refreshing green tea. Inspired by summer farmers’ markets, this organic blend features sun-ripened strawberries, fresh basil, and premium green tea.
  • Hibiscus Strawberry Tea – Delight in the flavor of luscious strawberry and tropical hibiscus. This crimson-colored cuppa is naturally caffeine free. Serve over ice for a hydrating and cooling beverage that can be sipped all summer long.

We invite every Citizen to celebrate National Strawberry Month sip by sip with these delicious and flavorful strawberry teas!

History of Strawberries

For hundreds of years, strawberries have been revered as a symbol of passion, romance, and fertility. Considering the fruit’s vibrant crimson coloring and heart-shaped appearance, it is easy to see how this symbolism came to be. 

The ancient Romans associated strawberries with Venus, the goddess of beauty, love, and fertility. According to lore, sharing a strawberry with a potential partner would invoke feelings of true love and passion. During medieval times, stonemasons across Europe carved strawberry designs into cathedral altars and pillars to symbolize the perfection of nature. 

In Bavarian folk tradition, wild spring strawberries are gathered in baskets and hung on the horns of cattle as an offering to elves and spirits. In return, these practitioners hope to ensure healthy calves and abundant milk supply. During Swedish Midsummer festivals, strawberry and cream cakes are served to represent the beauty and bounty of the summer season.

The strawberry’s reputation for romance and vitality has certainly lived on to modern times. Is there any treat more commonly associated with love and passion than ripe strawberries swirled in chocolate or dipped in cream? 

In honor of this heart-shaped fruit, we are celebrating National Strawberry Month by sharing the history of strawberries, fun strawberry facts, and the best strawberry teas. May is the perfect month to discover a new strawberry tea to sip and savor all summer long.

Origins of Strawberries

Wild strawberries have been gathered and used by various cultures around the globe since ancient times. The Greeks and Romans praised the fruit for its medicinal use and ornamental value. However, these wild berries were small and bitter in flavor compared to the fruits we know and cherish today.

Strawberries were not actively cultivated until the thirteenth century, when the French king Charles V had 1,200 strawberry plants added to his royal garden. The fruit is depicted in French, Italian, German, and Flemish works of art from this period of time.

Meanwhile across the Atlantic, Native Americans in North and South America were harvesting their own varieties of wild strawberries. These fruits were sweeter and more aromatic than the European species, making them well suited to culinary applications. 

When European explorers sailed to North America, they discovered the flavorful Virginia strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) and transported it back to Europe in 1624. Nearly one century later, a French spy shipped the Chilean strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) across the sea to the European continent. This species was not quite as flavorful as the Virginia strawberry, but it was much larger in size.

These two New World varieties of strawberries were crossbred in European gardens, giving rise to the modern garden strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa). During the next century, Fragaria × ananassa made its way back to the Americas, where it is now cultivated in abundance. More than 90 percent of the domestic strawberry crop is grown in California.