Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 3, 1806, The Introduction of the Cultivated Strawberry




About Strawberries
  • They have been known since ancient times in temperate climates around the world. 
  • Ancient Greeks and Romans had wild strawberries. 
  • Romans such as Ovid, Virgil,and Pliny all referred to strawberries at some time. 
  • Strawberries were known to Native Americans before contact with Europeans. 
  • Two of the main ancestors of today’s large strawberries are the fragaria Virginia, from the US eastern seaboard and the Chilean strawberry (f.chiloensis). 
  • French and English botanists of the 18th and 19th c. experimented with cross-breeding different varieties of strawberries. 
  • Englishman, Michael Keens, was the first to market a large fruit strawberry on July 3, 1806 called the Keen Seedling.


The Recipe: No. 216. Strawberries, Whole, Wet. 
Source: Frederick Nutt, The Complete Confectioner, 1807

Observe to get the strawberries for this purpose in very dry weather, that if it had not rained for three or four days, pick the largest and finest you can get; put some syrup into a preserving pan, boil it over a brisk fire for half an hour and put your strawberries in while it boils, do not put many into the pan only one strawberry deep; let them boil twenty minutes and take off all the scum with paper very carefully; if you find they are like to break, take them off immediately and put them into your pots, when cold put apple jelly over, and be very careful that your pots are not the least damp.

Preparing the Berries
Single Layer of Berries in Simple Syrup
Berry Scum!

The Finished Product

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