Saturday, February 13, 2021

Why are Strawberries so Romantic? by Marilyn Barr

 Is it because they are red, heart-shaped, or a Roman remedy for halitosis?

The Romans were the first to give newlyweds strawberries as wedding presents to help…ahem…with fertility. While their aphrodisiac claims have not been scientifically verified by the US FDA, the Romans were on the right track. Without the aid of modern technology such as a mass spectrophotometer, they correctly identified the berry best consumed when expanding your family. Strawberries are high in folic acid, a B vitamin vital for a healthy pregnancy. Not only are they heart-shaped, but they are also high in Anthocyanins, potassium, and Kaempferol which keep your heart healthy. (plentifulearth.com).

This tradition is still carried on by the French who serve a cold strawberry soup at weddings.  The Romans declared the strawberry as a symbol of Venus and wrote poems about its beauty.  Even Ovid and Virgil wrote poetry about the gentle, sweet fruit.  However, in Roman times, strawberries weren’t considered snacking food.  They were weeds harvested for medicinal purposes or for decorating altars to goddesses such as Venus. (Source University of Illinois “Strawberry Lore”.)


Strawberries are valued in eastern medicine as well. As early as 2600 BC, Chinese royalty drank diluted strawberry leaf tea as an anti-aging tonic. (practicalherbalist.com) Strawberries are associated with the root chakra and increase a person’s ability to love by strengthening their sense of self. This is why I chose the Strawberry to name my fictional Kentucky town in the Strawberry Shifters series. In each book, the main characters find love, not because of a prophesized soulmate test, but because they go on a healing journey to become a stronger version of themselves. Here’s a snippet from Book 2: Round of Applause where Aurora decides she’s ready to take charge of her life.

“Thanks. I took control, made a decision, and followed through for the first time in my life. I wasn’t being herded around like in school or my group of friends. I want to own this. You know?”

“I get it. Your disability will show your story like a tattoo, only greater because your will to live had to be greater.”

“Exactly,” I say.   

Find out what happened to Aurora and how she ended up in a Louisville, Kentucky emergency room when she was headed to Asia in Strawberry Shifters Book 2: Round of Applause. For the Valentine’s Day holiday, this eBook installment of the Strawberry Shifters series is on sale for $1.99. Grab your copy and celebrate strawberries, modern love, unconventional family, and the ability to love growing from learning to love yourself first. Round of Applause on Amazon





11 comments:

Maureen said...

What a great post! I never knew this about strawberries. We usually get chocolate covered strawberries on valentine's day for our daughters but they were out of stock this year (other people must've had the same idea).
Such a creative and meaningful way to name your town! I have such a hard time choosing names for people and places.

Diane Burton said...

Fascinating info about strawberries--my husband's favorite. I never knew about the Romans' use of the fruit. Great connection to your fictional town.

Marilyn Barr said...

Thank you, Maureen. I'm sorry you are going to miss out on the chocolate covered strawberries. They are a favorite of mine as well. I probably put more time into naming people and places than I should, lol.

Thank you, Diane. Strawberries grew between the stones of the roads of Rome. They were considered a weed put in the way of the soldier's carts by Venus. She wanted more love and less war, I guess.

Mary Morgan said...

Wonderful post, Marilyn! Yum, I love strawberries any time of the year.

Jessica E. Subject said...

Yum! I love strawberries! And finding out how beneficial they are makes them even better! Though, I don't like the faux strawberries that grow in our yard. They don't taste great at all.

Cool connection to your story!

Mrs. Reuther said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marilyn Barr said...

My yard has faux strawberries too. They are bitter so I substitute them for rhubarb in recipes instead of a substitute for real strawberries.

Marilyn Barr said...

Thank you. I can't wait to pick them in the spring.

Nightingale said...

Chocolate covered strawberries and champagne are the most romantic!

Keri Kruspe said...

What a fun post! I love all berries - but the strawberry is my older sister's favorite. Thanks for the memories!

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