THE WEXFORD STRAWBERRY
County Wexford is renowned for its strawberries which are reputed to be the best in the whole of Ireland. The quality of the fruit is due to the local soils and the extended sun hours that the sunny south east provides. Mostly field grown in tunnels, the sweet morsels of watery fruit, its distinctive flavor and rich fragrance is a summer treat.
The garden strawberry was bred in Brittany, France in the 1750’s from a cross of Eastern North American and Chilean plants. These commercially produced fruit replaced the Woodland Strawberry which was the first strawberry species cultivated in the early 17th Century.
From June through to September, the roadside stalls open up with their distinctive fresh, locally grown fruits. The colourful displays, brightly painted and decorated stalls bacons the driver to pull over and sample their produce.
The bright red fruit certainly catches your eye and sends the taste bud juices running.
“the kids are in the back of the car, patience has run out or perhaps the nagging for the treat you had promised them, and all of a sudden….silence, heavenly silence.” Oh this little fruit has powers!
Strawberries bring us back to our own childhood, filling our shirts on the way home from a walk for a snack at home. Crushed strawberries and bananas was popular. Of course there is strawberries and cream, or ice cream, trifles, pies, cheese cake, Pavlov’s, crumbles, dipped in chocolate…..and to top off, in the champagne.
This little fruit is seriously nutritious as well, a master all rounder. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, and a good source of manganese plus several other sources of vitamins and dietary minerals. If that wasn’t enough, they are good for cardiovascular disease, are an anti-inflammatory, reduces hypotension and lowers LDL Cholesterol levels.
Although the harvesting of this little fruit is hard work and, because they grow low to the ground, its hard on the back, time during harvest does not wait as the fruit has to be piched immediately they are ready as tomorrow will be to late.
The only thing I can say about the harvesting problems is the hardship is completely dowsed by the sheer enjoyment of sinking my teeth into the fruit, my senses running wild at the burst of flavor and aroma and in the achievement that I concurred this little fruit and enjoyed every moment of it.
A very special thanks is extended to the pickers, thank you!
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