(reprinted from Absolute Michigan)
Last night I came across this photo of a wild strawberry shortly after coming across some of its domesticated brethren in my strawberry shortcake. That reminded me to check in with Taste the Local Difference and sure enough, they say that Michigan strawberries are ready to pick. Their in-depth article features recipes including one for chocolate dipped strawberries (the photo, oh my) from Empire’s own Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate and says that strawberries…
… are indigenous to both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. They grow by the seaside, in the woods, and on mountain tops.
… got their name in London, where children used to collect the berries, string them onto pieces of straw, then sell them at the markets as “Straws of Berries.”
… are naturally high in fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and antioxidants.
“Wildman” Steve Brill (who I think is heir to the mantle of Euell Gibbons) has some cool information about wild strawberries. He says: Superstitious Michigan farmers never ate the first strawberry to ripen, because it would show the plant that making lots of fruit was no use. So theyâ€™d throw the first strawberry to the birds.
He’s also dead-on right that they take a long time to collect but are about 12 million times better than commercial strawberries.
Photo credit: strawberry by juliacortez