v. mac·er·at·ed, mac·er·at·ing, mac·er·ates
To make soft by soaking or steeping in a liquid.
To separate into constituents by soaking.
To cause to become lean, usually by starvation; emaciate.
I love the word macerate. Something about it seems sensual, placid and violent all at once.
My contribution to this Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Tony at Anthony's Kitchen, pairs this cooking technique with the delicious strawberry.
As a kid I absolutely loved Strawberry Shortcake, the cute little red-haired cartoon character. I watched her cartoons, read her books and even emulated her catch phrases where every instance of “very” was replaced with “berry”. One year my grandmother, a professional cake decorator, produced a masterpiece birthday cake with the snazzy pink princess front of stage.
I even had a tiny figurine of Strawberry Shortcake on a skateboard and it smelt so vividly of strawberries. I still have it and it still hasn't lost its scent. I hate to think what cancerogenic product they used to make that smell!
I noticed that the new Strawberry Shortcake of the 2000s has lost her cutesy dress and is making a splash in jeans. Not sure how I feel about a spruced up Strawberry Shortcake!
Back to the recipe.
Hopefully you will enjoy my fruity, adult dessert. It’s easy to make and can be ready in about five minutes. Leaving it to “macerate” allows the flavoursto develop, but if you’re too impatient it will still taste great. It can be eaten with ice cream, yoghurt, cream or on it’s own.
Simple but delicious.
Anna’s very own concoction. Serves 2.
1 punnet strawberries, hulled & sliced
2 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1. Combine and stir until sugar dissolves. Taste for sweetness and adjust if necessary.
2. Leave for 1 hour.
3. Divide the strawberries and the juice.
The strawberry (Fragaria) is the fruit from a genus of plants in the family Rosaceae, which includes roses.
Strawberries are technically classified as "accessory fruit" because they do not come from the plant’s achenes (ovaries) but from an extension of the hypanthium (which is a part that holds the achenes). This means that the strawberry flesh is considered a vegetable and that its seeds are the plant's true fruit. Strange!
So strange, in fact, that strawberries are the only fruit with their seeds on the outside!
There are more than 20 named species, and many more hybrids, but in the 18th century, the Garden Strawberry replaced the Woodland Strawberry (also known as Wild Strawberry, Alpine Strawberry and European Strawberry) as the most commonly cultivated strawberry. The Garden Strawberry is a cross between the Virginia Strawberry native to North America and a larger strawberry from Chile.
The etymology of the word “strawberry” is fairly literal and said to come from the Old English strēawberiġe from streaw "straw" and berige "berry". The name could have come about for many various reasons including:
1) the straw-like runners of the plant
2) Germanic people used to string strawberries on straw while collecting them
3) the runners appeared strewn along the ground
4) gardeners mulched them with straw
Strawberries have been used for medicinal purposes since the 13th century. In Armenia it was used for a multitude of digestive problems, including gallstones, and in Germany for digestion, bad breath and insomnia. In more modern times it has been utilised in cosmetics for pimple prevention and is considered to have diuretic and antibiotic properties.
Here's some useful information from the Victorian Strawberry Industry.
Fast Fruity Facts
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries (175 grams) provides:
Kilojoules 175 (Calories 42)
Protein 2 g
Fat less than 0.2 g
Carbohydrates 4.7 g
Dietary Fibre 3.8 g
Vitamin C 79 mg
Folate 25 mcg
Calcium 22.7 mg
Magnesium 146.0 mg
Phosphorus 40.3 mg
Potassium 227.5 mg
Beta-carotene 44mcg * converted into Vitamin A in the body
A single serve of (8-10 medium strawberries or 100g) provides:
• 100 kilojoules with 3g Carbohydrate, 2g Protein, and 0g Fat
• 150% of your day's supply of vitamin C (as much as an orange!)
• 7% of your day's supply of fibre
• 7% of your day's supply of folic acid
Tips for Selecting the Best Strawberries
Size plays no part in determining the perfect strawberry. In fact, small strawberries are equally as sweet and juicy as large ones. The perfect strawberry should be fully coloured, firm, bright, plump and shiny. Make sure the cap (calyx) is attached, green and fresh-looking.
The moisture content of strawberries is high, so always remove fruit from punnets and place in a large container lined with absorbent paper. Strawberries are best stored at 4oC, either uncovered or loosely covered. Serve at room temperature. Only remove their green caps (calyx) after washing, just prior to use.
The best way to enjoy strawberries throughout the whole year it is to freeze some for the winter months. Frozen berries can be used to make jams or a delicious strawberry sauce for icecream or cakes. Try adding a few 'real strawberry iceblocks' to a smoothie. Remember - frozen strawberries will not defrost into perfect strawberries so they are best used as an ingredient and will need to be sweetened.
Be sure to check at the Weekend Herb Blogging recap hosted in India by Tony.
And have a BERRY nice day!