15 Facts About Strawberries That Everyone Should Know

Okay, so, let's talk strawberries. But what is there to really know? You're like: "Hey, I'm eating a strawberry." And then boom, you're done. Whoop-de-doo.

Secretly, though, that's probably your fragariaphobia talking. (Psst, it's okay if you can't pronounce it. Trust us, it means a fear of strawberries.) Triggered, of course, by the 7 pounds of strawberries you didn't even know you ate last year. Or, maybe a strawberry sacrifice to a Bavarian elf didn't work out so good for you. Holy Fragaria x ananassa! We're freaking the freak out!

Hold on tight! We're going deliciously deep for this strawberrysploration, as we pick off the seeds — one by one — from America's favorite non-berry. You read that right, folks, strawberries aren't even berries. Mind blown yet? We've got facts, figures, fraises! Let's get our strawberry (uh, fields) on!

1. Strawberries are related to roses

A rose by any other name wouldn't taste like strawberry! And we're not even talking about those rose-looking strawberries stuck on sticks in Edible Arrangements (which we eat first, but only if they're dipped in chocolate.)

Strawberries call the Rosaceae family home. It's a big ole gang with almost 3,000 different plant species showing up for the annual reunion. There, the strawberry sticks a "Hello, my name is Fragaria x ananassa" sticker on its chest, and gets in line for potato salad just like everybody else. For the pop culture fiends out there, the "x" doesn't mean "by." While we wish it were a fashion collab, it's actually a sign that the strawberry is a hybrid. Even so, Fragaria and Ananassa totally sound like they take selfies with mimosas at brunch.

Roses and strawberries aren't exactly twinning on the regular, but some growers do plant them next to each other. They both like the same soil, and each of their flowers smell like expensive perfume. Plus, the fruit of the rose — rose hips — can also be eaten along with the strawberries. Of course you can really take the theme to the next level by carving a strawberry into the shape of a rose for your next devastatingly romantic fruit cup.

2. Fragariaphobia is the fear of strawberries

OMG what was that! You heard it too, right? It sounded like some kind of little red fruit using its tiny stem to scratch at the window. (Shh ... It's inside the house!) People, the strawberry fear is real and it's called fragariaphobia. (Remember strawberry's name tag? It's the first part of that. Thankfully, it's not fragariaxananassaphobia. But that would be fun to say.)

What causes a fear of this terrifying fruit? One Redditor told a story about biting into a strawberry from the farmers market, at age 5. Eleven years later, the victim could still vividly recall seeing the remaining wiggly, uneaten half of a maggot buried in the fruit. Another mother claims her teen son can't even look at a strawberry without recoiling in horror — a fruit which he has yet to ever eat.

If you or someone you know is struggling with fragariaphobia, help is available. In an emergency, cover the offending fruit in dark chocolate until the flesh is no longer visible. Drizzle with white chocolate, then chill. Call for help. We'll be there in five!

3. Strawberries have been to space

One small step for man, one giant leap for dehydrated strawberries. As of 2005, NASA was busy at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, growing global varieties of strawberries for future missions to space. And along with the antioxidant boost, scientists hope the familiar smell of these berries will remind astronauts of home. (They could also pack a Bath and Body Works strawberry lip gloss, but ... not the same.)

Strawberries have actually been a NASA ride or die since the late '60s. No big deal, but they landed on the moon with the Apollo 11 space shuttle in July 1969, along with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Not sure how much everybody loved the square versions of the berries, though. Vacuum sealed, dry, and compressed, the once bright red berries looked more like depressing cubes of beef bouillon.

Later, in 1988, strawberries suited up for the Atlantis mission. This time, they appeared a lot more like themselves, housed in a small plastic dish. Astronauts enjoyed this version just like the strawberries on Earth, with the addition of a little cold water to coax these babies back to life. 

4. There's an entire museum dedicated to strawberries in Belgium

We're massive strawberry fans. But nobody loves 'em like Belgium does. There, you can get lost on a tour of the Musée de la Fraise de Wépion. No, it doesn't translate to a fear of strawberry museums. It is a strawberry museum!

The town of Wépion got famous for its sweet crop of fraises every year, and what better way to celebrate the bounty, than with a small heritage museum, and the world's cutest little gift shop. Launched in 1970, the museum strives to preserve strawberry agriculture for decades to come, through art, culture, and culinary history. Plus, during the summer berry season, you can even walk through the beautiful Jardin des Petits Fruits (berry garden), and snag a sample of the celebrity strawberry itself.

Of course, we would still crush the gift shop. Are you kidding? It's full of local strawberry everything. Is this even real? Try the strawberry apple juice, strawberry gin, strawberry liqueur, boozy strawberry cream, strawberry beer, strawberry candy, strawberry tea, strawberry syrup, strawberry vinegar, strawberry jam, strawberry soap, strawberry perfume, and of course, the obligatory strawberry museum tote bag. Whew, got through it! Hello, we'll take one of everything. This can all fit in our carry-on, right?

5. People consume a surprising amount strawberries each year

Admittedly, we could probably break a Guinness World Record for the number of strawberries eaten in one sitting by someone scrolling professional croissant-making videos on Pinterest. But it turns out, all of us down bucket loads of these berries without even really trying. As the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in 2022, we each eat roughly 7 pounds of strawberries a year. If each berry is basically the size of a golf ball, that's about 140 strawberries per person.

So how do you enjoy your 140 berries a year? Well, lots of us eat them fresh outta the garden, blended into smoothies, served over ice cream, or sprinkled with sugar as part of a summery, strawberry shortcake situation. But you don't have to stick to those tried and true standards.

With a typical growing season that can stretch from March to August, perfectly sweet, juicy strawberries appear in just about everything as soon as they're ripe. Toss slices into salads, bake strawberries into bread, freeze whole berries into ice cubes for sparkling water or cocktails, or stuff them with cream cheese. With options like these, we're single-handedly aiming for 10 pounds of strawberries per person, per year. Let's do this!

6. Strawberries have been used for health and beauty

So, confessions, we may have attempted a strawberries and cream face mask for glowing skin. And we may have also never made it to the step where we were supposed to put it on our face. (There was Greek yogurt and honey in it, you guys. Delicious.) But while we may dabble in strawberry-ish beauty, the Ancient Roman Empire was serious about their berries as medicine.

Back in the day — the 625 BC to AD 476 kind of day — people went crazy for wild strawberries. Depending on the No. 1 wellness remedy of your childhood, strawberries were either the Children's Tylenol or the Vicks VapoRub of Ancient Rome. They (okay, can we just guess it was the moms?) used different parts of the whole plant, hoping to cure all kinds of things like the blues, bad breath, sore throats, fevers, kidney stones, liver disease, and fainting. They also rubbed strawberries on their faces to get rid of zits! Ah, if only they had been able to Google it, to add the honey part. And instead of Crest 3D Whitestrips, they whitened their chompers with strawberry juice. (They also brushed their teeth with sticks and ground-up seashells, so, maybe don't try Ancient Roman oral hygiene at home.)

Just for the record, they also ate their strawberries back then. These berries were the food of high class living, and were typically stewed with warm spices, and served on bread. Two thousand years later, we're basically still doing that, but as Pop-Tarts. Thanks for the inspo, Roman Empire!

7. Strawberries contain more vitamin C than oranges

What's the first food you think of when we say vitamin C? If you just yelled out Kakadu plums, you get points. The Aussie superfood packs 100 times more of the vitamin than your average orange. But even so, oranges still get all the press. Got the sniffles? You'll have 40 people offering you pulp-free Tropicana, Super Orange Emergen-C, and Zesty Orange Airborne.

But maybe we should actually be getting our strawberries on for our daily dose of vitamin C. Milligram for milligram, strawberries pack more vitamin C than the orange behemoth in this category. With an entire orange clocking in at 70 milligrams of vitamin C, and a single strawberry serving roughly 10 milligrams, 1 cup of sliced strawberries knocks out 108% of your vitamin C for the day. Orange who? Yeah, that's what we thought.

Get your strawberries in by whipping up strawberry overnight oats, strawberry babka, strawberry açaí bowls, strawberry parfaits, or strawberry granola. We could keep going. Okay, we will. You could also do a nice strawberry ceviche, strawberry pasta salad, strawberry spring rolls, strawberry gazpacho ...

8. Strawberries can be grown in every state

Just because California is over there acting like a strawberry princess, with its 24.8 million hundredweight of strawberries farmed every year, it doesn't mean it owns them. No way! The strawberry symbolizes America — mostly because it happily grows in every state. Even the ones you can't find on a map.

Native Mountain strawberries and Beach strawberries hail from Alaska. And the sweet, pineapple-y Hawaiian strawberry can be found all over the islands. June-harvest strawberries do best in Oklahoma, and you can get tickets to the Cedarburg, Wisconsin Strawberry Fest every summer. Also, rest assured an urban farmer/barista is growing some kind of strawberry plant off a fire escape in New York City.

Thanks to all that strawberry-friendly soil, the United States lands at a solid second place in global strawberry domination. But while China may hold the top spot in numbers, its growing season hits only November through June. Meanwhile, sunny California cranks out that luscious berry fever 365 days a year. Care for a fresh strawberry frozen margarita in January? Don't mind if we do!

9. The heaviest strawberry weighed over 10 ounces

Oh my God, Becky. Look. At. This. Berry. A bright red, massive strawberry weighing 10.19 oz (289 grams) crushed the Guinness World Record for heaviest strawberry in 2022. For reference, a less girthy, medium-sized strawberry clocks in at around 12 grams — not even half an ounce. By any account, that's one big a** berry.

We feel like it needs a name (Sharon? Doug?). Anyway, the strawberry (Kevin?) hails from a family farm in Kadima-Zoran, Israel, called תות בשדה משק אריאל, or "Strawberries in the Field." Chahi Ariel grew it and debuted it for judges, showcasing just how huge the local Ilan style strawberry can grow. Thanks to stellar weather conditions, multiple berries merged themselves together over the course of 45 days to create ... (Susan?)

Obviously, even a world record strawberry's gonna get a moldy little sweater after a while. So what do you do with one of these things? A pie? Mousse? A zingy fruit spread? Well, Ariel popped it in the freezer. Apparently, it took an entire year for the berry, which was harvested in 2021, to officially clinch the prize. He said, "We kept it in the freezer for a year. It's no longer as pretty as it was." Frostbite or not, this heavyweight champ still holds the title.

10. Each strawberry has around 200 seeds

Do you realize that you eat about 200 seeds with every strawberry? Yeah, they're those little dots bedazzling the outside of the fruit. And since they're the only berry that rocks them like that, they're not, um, actually berries. Quite a little racket they've been running, with the name and all, eh?

The strawberry is actually a yummy pseudocarp, otherwise described as a "false fruit." The little "seeds" are actually individual fruits, with each one encasing its own teeny-tiny seed. The part we commonly think of as the "berry," becomes their mother ship. The whole thing then lands in your gut and grows its bushy vines and turns you into a giant strawberry from the inside out. Well, probably not — but you get the picture.

This is one of those popular name-type issues that screws with science. Kind of like how not all Q-tips are the Q-tips brand, but whatever, we call them that anyway, and everyone knows what we mean. Apparently, people called anything small and juicy that you pick from a stem "berries," even when they technically weren't. Real, science-y berries have three parts — a skin, juicy middle, and an innermost seed — and with that, strawberries are kicked out of the club. But some surprising other foods fill the void: bananas, grapes, avocados, oranges, kiwi, pumpkin, and watermelon. Yep! All berries. (Heart-shaped strawberry, you're still the cutest!)

11. Washing strawberries may make them mushy

Water kills Wicked Witches, it spawns and multiplies Gremlins, and it makes your ripe strawberries go gooshy and squishy, among many other talents. So while washing strawberries is good (see: fragariaphobia), letting them fester in added moisture is bad. Unless you like your strawberries mushy and wearing their own fur coats.

With a proper welcome into the domestic life, ripe strawberries can survive for as long as two weeks, if you can wait all that time to eat them. The classic method here is to leave the berries as they are (farmers market dirt, bugs, possible random bacteria, and all), in a container with a little air flow, then wash just the amount you need, right before you eat them.

But if you're desperate to display your fridge berries in that cute bowl you just got from Anthropologie, you could try a vinegar soak. A five minute plunge in a three to one bath of water to white vinegar, and your berries will be yucky stuff-free. Just rinse with plain water, and pat dry before storing. You'll get similar results with a 30-second dip in 125 degrees Fahrenheit water, or by adding 1 teaspoon baking soda to 2 cups of water. Bye-bye, bacteria! Whatever wash and rinse cycle you like best, just dry those berries well, and there won't be any late-nite snack monsters screeching in your kitchen, other than you.

12. Strawberries are associated with love

Well, they're not shaped like little hearts for nothing. A lifelong member of the sexy food club, strawberries keep it hotter and steamier than a crowded sauna at the YMCA. Need a little boost in the love department? Grab your own carton and let the magic unfold!

Get folksy with the theory that splitting a strawberry in half with your crush makes you fall head over heels in love. Or take a page from the French book of romance, where newlyweds eat strawberry soup, made with sour cream and sugar, the morning after they seal the deal.

Strawberries have also been linked to the Virgin Mary, as well as the Roman goddess of love, Venus, symbolizing everything from purity and fertility, to sensuality and abundance. A dream about strawberries might mean you'll soon find true love (as long as the strawberries aren't chasing you like murderers). Or, take your destiny into your own hands with strawberries and champagne, to guarantee that you'll at least enjoy some me-time you won't regret the next morning.

13. There's a Bavarian tradition that involves strawberries and cattle

We're not the only ones putting it all on the table for the strawberry gods. Over in Bavaria, they have their own strawberry ritual for good luck. All you need are some cattle, a couple baskets of wild strawberries, and string. Oh, and some benevolent woodland elves. Almost forgot.

A beloved tradition in the countryside, every spring, farmers tie little baskets full of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle. The purpose is to delight the local elves (who live for strawberries, btw), into using their lil elf magic to bring health and milkability to the animals. While we have never seen one of these elves, nobody's out of milk in Bavaria.

The Bavarian tradition may have had a little something to do with bringing the beloved strawberries and cream dessert to Wimbledon. Ever since the debut of the tournament in 1877, fans have been tucking into the sweet stuff — now, to the tune of 150,000 servings a year. Game. Set. (Elf stuff). Match.

14. People have tried the strawberry diet... but they shouldn't

A friendly reminder, we're (clearly) not doctors. But we love it when food leads us off the beaten path ... to Victoria Beckham, and the infamous Strawberry Diet. Back in 2004, Victoria traveled Europe with her hubby David Beckham, subsisting on a single meal per day of strictly strawberries. Strawberries pack many benefits, but balanced nutrition isn't exactly one of them. Not even close. Also, can we just meditate on the sheer amount of fiber jammed into each of those 200 fruit-seeds? Poor Victoria.

Kim Kardashian also took a turn at the diet in 2011, eating strawberries at every meal, along with other foods like chicken, bananas, yogurt, and salad. But even with those additions, she was pretty much dressing up a crash diet in the shape of a strawberry.

On the flip side, there was the diet that allegedly allowed for zero strawberries. When Tom Brady ate a strawberry for the first time on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" in 2018, we all assumed Brady had passed on the fruit his whole life because of his famously strict training diet. But, nope! He just doesn't like them. He confessed, "I just hate the smell." Still, he's a good sport and took a bite anyway, later admitting, "It's not that bad."

15. There are many opportunities to celebrate strawberries throughout the year

Thankfully, we can enjoy strawberries whenever we want. But if you really wanna have some fun, you gotta get hip to your holidays! For Level 1 strawberry celebration, mark your calendar for National Strawberry Day on February 27. Same time every year. But, oddly, Strawberry Day is not part of National Strawberry Month which takes place in May. Still, these are rookie league holidays. We think you're ready to go big. 

Grab some sunscreen for Pick Strawberries Day on May 20 (During Strawberry Month, which makes sense. Hope you live next to some pickable fruit.) And get your brain freeze on with National Strawberry Ice Cream Day on January 15. Mmmm ... exactly what you need on a cold winter's day: Ice cream. Then, just in time for the start of Summer, we have National Strawberry Parfait Day on June 25. And if you're more of a dessert kind of guy or gal, June 14 is National Strawberry Shortcake Day. (Not the '80s doll. The food.) 

Hungry for more? We've got National Strawberry Cream Pie Day on September 28 (there has to be a pie eating contest somewhere in this great big country), and, possibly the sweetest of all, National Strawberry Sundae Day happens on July 7. (No cherries on top! Only strawberries.) Finally, we'll round out the year by checking ourselves into National Strawberry Day Rehab, where we hope they have a couple cucumbers, some ginger ale, and zero strawberries.