Strawberries donʼt continue to ripen after harvest if they are picked too early (nonclimacteric fruits). We have been using wild strawberries since the Stone Age, but it wasn’t until the eighteenth century that American varieties were crossbred to yield the garden strawberry. In botanical terms, strawberries are an aggregate accessory fruit and not a botanical berry.
From Wikipedia: “The garden strawberry (or simply strawberry; Fragaria × ananassa) is a widely grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria (collectively known as the strawberries). It is cultivated worldwide for its fruit. ...
“Strawberry cultivars vary widely in size, color, flavor, shape, degree of fertility, season of ripening, liability to disease and constitution of plant. On average, a strawberry has about 200 seeds on its external membrane. ...”
“Most strawberry plants are now fed with artificial fertilizers, both before and after harvesting, and often before planting in plasticulture.
To maintain top quality, berries are harvested at least every other day. The berries are picked with the caps still attached and with at least half an inch of stem left. Strawberries need to remain on the plant to fully ripen because they do not continue to ripen after being picked. ...”
Culinary and other uses:
“In addition to being consumed fresh, strawberries can be frozen, made into preserves, as well as dried and used in prepared foods, such as cereal bars. Strawberries and strawberry flavorings are a popular addition to dairy products, such as strawberry-flavored milk, strawberry ice cream, strawberry milkshakes, strawberry smoothies and strawberry yogurts. ...
As strawberry flavor and fragrance are popular characteristics for consumers, they are used widely in a variety of manufacturing, including foods, beverages, confections, perfumes and cosmetics.”
“One serving (100 g) of strawberries contains approximately 33 kilocalories, is an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source of manganese, and provides several other vitamins and dietary minerals in lesser amounts.
Few studies have directly examined the effects of eating strawberries on human health. However, limited research indicates that strawberry consumption may be associated with a decreased cardiovascular disease risk and that phytochemicals present in strawberries have anti-inflammatory or anticancer properties in laboratory studies. Epidemiological studies have associated strawberry consumption with lower rates of hypertension, cancer, and death from cardiovascular diseases. Certain studies have suggested that strawberry consumption may have beneficial effects in humans such as lowering blood LDL cholesterol levels, total cholesterol, reducing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and decreasing the spike in blood sugar after high sugar meals and the spike in blood cholesterol seen after high-fat meals.”
“Some people experience an anaphylactoid reaction to eating strawberries. The most common form of this reaction is oral allergy syndrome, but symptoms may also mimic hay fever or include dermatitis or hives, and, in severe cases, may cause breathing problems. Proteomic studies indicate that the allergen may be tied to a protein for the red anthocyanin biosynthesis expressed in strawberry ripening, named Fra a1 (Fragaria allergen1). Homologous proteins are found in birch pollen and apple, suggesting that people may develop cross-reactivity to all three species.
White-fruited strawberry cultivars, lacking Fra a1, may be an option for strawberry allergy sufferers. ... A virtually allergen-free cultivar named ‘Sofar’ is available.”
“Strawberries are considered to be a particularly healthy food for pregnant women. If a woman in France craves strawberries, this is considered to be a sign that she may be pregnant. In contrast, if a woman in Germany has strong cravings for pickles, it is suspected that she is pregnant.*”
Note (italics): * = Translation from a German Wikipedia entry