Saturday, 21 June 2008

Strawberries,revolution and scandalous behaviour.

Blueboat has a post about strawberries on her blog and a dilemma about their disposal, which set me off googling to see if you can do anything else with them other than making jam. In wikipedia I found a reference to Madam Tallien bathing in them which set me off googling at a tangent and on Big Frank Dickinson's blog I came across this:

She is remembered for her involvement in the Liberal cause in France, which led
to her imprisonment, and threat of the guillotine. .... she scandalized society by showing up at the Paris Opera wearing a sleeveless white dress and no underwear underneath! Talleyrand famously remarked on that: “It is not possible to exhibit oneself more sumptuously!” That is seizing the moment! And, of course she did bathe in strawberries - to good effect, it appeared.

Now there is a fashion that I would like to see revived (c:

....... and now some fun facts about strawberries courtesy of Michigan Dept of Agriculture:

  • Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
  • The average strawberry has 200 seeds.
  • The ancient Romans believed that strawberries alleviated symptoms of melancholy, fainting, all inflammations, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, bad breath, attacks of gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen.
  • To symbolize perfection and righteousness, medieval stone masons carved strawberry designs on altars and around the tops of pillars in churches and cathedrals.
  • In parts of Bavaria, country folk still practice the annual rite each spring of tying small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle as an offering to elves. They believe that the elves, who are passionately fond of strawberries, will help to produce healthy calves and an abundance of milk in return.
  • Madame Tallien, a prominent figure at the court of the Emperor Napoleon, was famous for bathing in the juice of fresh strawberries. She used 22 pounds per basin. Needless to say, she did not bathe daily.
  • The fruit size of the very early strawberries was very small.
  • Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
  • There is a museum in Belgium just for strawberries.
  • Strawberries are a member of the rose family.

The MDA has a lot of recipes for strawberries (among other things) including Sweet-Hot Strawberry BBQ Sauce