|A fruit with a long history|
This variety was popular with Native Americans who mixed crushed berries with cornmeal that was baked as strawberry bread. After trying this bread, according to some scholars, the colonists modified the recipe and created an early version of strawberry shortcake.
Strawberry shortcake is frequently featured at regional strawberry festivals. Michigan claims the “national” strawberry festival, although many states, particularly in the South, celebrate with at least one festival, such as in Georgia, South Carolina, and West Virginia, and some festivals were inaugurated well before Michigan began its event in 1976.
Florida began its festival four years later in Plant City, which claims to be the winter strawberry capital of the world. Lasting more than 11 days with about half a million visitors, the Florida festival is not only huge but also the earliest of the year, sometimes starting as early as late February.
|You-pick-it farms help promote|
When I was searching for a “strawberry event” to attend, I became interested in finding the world’s largest strawberry at The Berry Patch near Ellerbe, NC (population of 1,021), and I made it my destination one day. Because The Berry Patch, which began as a small strawberry farm in 1995, is owned by a family whose last name appropriately is Berry, I thought that it should be worth the trip.
|The world's largest strawberry (actually an ice cream stand) at The Berry Patch in Ellerbe, NC|
|All homemade -- but |
strawberry tops the list.
|Although easily seen from the highway, |
signs point to the new location.
|Market area with local produce|