07 April 2016

F is for strawberry!

Its my fourth attempt at the April AtoZ Blogging challenge and I am writing about herbs.

How can F be for strawberry? Simple, because botanically strawberry belongs to a genus called Fragaria. The most popular recall for this yummy fruit is strawberries and cream... Supposedly a summer favourite. Strawberries are freely available in most Indian cities and they must be handled and stored with care. 

Punekars (folks living in Pune are fondly referred to by this name) are lucky as Mahabaleshwar is only a couple of hours away by road and it is a major strawberry grower. Come summer and we have strawberry festivals held in the city and almost everyone who visits Mahabaleshwar comes back kilograms of fresh strawberries. The Mapro Food Park is a major attraction especially for its Strawberry and Cream. Some farms encourage visitors to go strawberry picking. Besides jams, preserves, Mahabaleshwar farmers have made strawberry wine as well!

Getting back to our herb, strawberry is an introduced crop in India but some varieties are native e.g. Duschesnia indica, Fragaria niligerrensis . Strawberries belong to the Rosaceae family (Rose family). To see this plant one has to visit a farm or grow it in the garden. its not very tall and sends out runners that can give rise to new plants. The white flowers have a yellow centre. We did try to nurture a plant in a pot but it did not survive for long, obviously the habitat was unsuitable :(
Strawberry plant with flowers

Freshly harvested strawberries
Some other familiar foods from this family are apple, cherries and almonds! 

Its understandable if these images inspire you to head off to your refrigerator or the super market and get yourself some strawberries. 

I am heading to my kitchen for some strawberry crush to make myself a strawberry milkshake.
Cya around!


Seena said...

What a pleasant surprise! F for Strawberries. Love them!


#AtoZChallenge- F is for Free Advice

Joanne said...

Mmmmm strawberries.
Can't wait for June to get some locally.

A to Z

Archana said...

Thank you Seena! Thanks for being here everyday!!

Archana said...

@Joanne Thanks for stopping by :)

Dahlia said...

Strawberry wine is news to me! Thanks for dropping in on my blog and what a coincidence I am going to Pune tomorrow. Any tips or suggestions? lots of interesting stuff on your blog - will be going through in a more leisurely manner later.

@mysilverstreaks from

Novemberschild said...

These red beauties are versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Here are some creative ways to use them:

Use as a substitute for tomatoes in a recipe for salad or salsa
Toss sliced berries onto a bed of greens
Substitute pureed strawberries for part or all of the vinegar in a salad dressing
Top fish, pork or chicken with trawberry salsa
Freeze whole strawberries and use as “ice cubes” in cocktails


I've been to a strawberry farm & they look beautiful. You just can't take your hands off plucking & popping them in your mouth.



Archana said...

@Dahlia Thank you for stopping by. Lots of interesting things to do in Pune-go for a heritage walk, visit the War Memorial, go shopping in Tulshibag and surrounding areas (will be crowded) , Aga Khan palace n so on... Food walk too if you like it.. :)

Archana said...

@Novemberschild Thanks for sharing these interesting tips.

Kala Ravi said...

Archana, family Fragaria for F....good idea! My knowledge sure is going up. Thanks to you. I have seen these on my trips to Mahabaleshwar.
@KalaRavi16 from

Hill station Reader said...

Strawberries are really a delicious fruit variety .
And yes I was confused too, how f is o strawberries .
Later understood it.

@dixita011 from
Cafenined words

Archana said...

Yes, Mahabaleshwar is THE place for strawberries in Maharashtra! Thanks Kala :)

Archana said...

@Dixita mour -- yes.. intention was to create a bit of suspense! :)

Archana said...

@Richa Jindal Thanks for stopping by !

Srivi said...

Now that's a learning for me .. Even I was wondering how F is for strawberry :)

Great post :) Have been to the strawberry farm in Mahabaleshwar as a kid and it was real fun ...

Srivi - AtoZChallenge
The Piscean Me | Twitter

My Era said...

I liked the way you used the botanical name to introduce Strawberries for letter F.
That flower looks absolutely gorgeous, I'd never seen a strawberry flower before.
Whipped cream with strawberries is heavenly :D
Loving the way you're doing the A to Z Challenge with herbs :)

My Era @theerailivedin
The Era I Lived In

Denise said...

Strawberries are fine for strawberry farms, but I had a neighbor who planted them. They went wild and invaded my perennial gardens. Took forever to get rid of. I love strawberries, but I'll buy them at the market.

sugar N spice cookies said...

Now even I can say "F" for strawberry. Nice new touch and after seeing those pictures, yearning for strawberry milkshake.
@thefuschialady from

The Solitary Writer said...

I have been to the Mapro factory at Mahabaleshwar. Its too good :D You get to see everything and also taste their products. :D I miss Pune now :D

F -Playing with Fire

Unknown said...

Edutainment at its best. I love strawberries and I learned a little something here.

Archana said...

@Srivi Mahabaleshwar is fun at all ages because our perceptions change!! Thanks for stopping by :)

Archana said...

@My Era Many thanks for your kind words. :)

Archana said...

@Denise - yes I can see how troublesome that must have been! I get strawberries from the market!! Thanks for sharing your experience.

Archana said...

@thefuschialady Thanks for stopping by :)

Archana said...

@The Solitary Writer Yes Mapro outlets are delightful. Thanks for your comments.

Lorena Sims said...

Mmmm strawberries, I will surely plant some of that this summer. The title of your post made me smile. Cool!

Archana said...

Thank you Lorena. I hope you have a bumper crop of strawberries this summer!

Maggie said...

Yummy!! I am not a fan of strawberries (had a rather sour experince with them as a child) but I don't think any berry even copares ti how pretty these look :)

Shalini said...

Oh, I have visited Mahabaleshwar and the Mapro Foods. The strawberries they grow are fresh and yum. This F post is a plesant surprise :) Thanks for sharing.

Archana said...

@Maggie I guess strawberries are not an all round favourite!

Archana said...

Thank you Shalini! :)

Archana said...

@Jenifer Fales- sorry about this delayed response! Appreciate your stopping by :)