After all these years of the British eating strawberries and consuming them in great quantities, one would think we already know how to eat them. As that is not the case, it is fortunate that AVA Berries has teamed up with renowned etiquette expert, William Hanson, in order to show the public the ‘proper’ way to eat strawberries.
AVA Berries is a Scottish brand created by a large berry-growing family based in the north-east of Scotland. They were established by fruit growing and breeding experts Angus Soft Fruits, and the first AVA™ strawberry was produced in the 1990’s under the company’s breeding program. They currently sell to multiple supermarkets in the UK including Aldi, M&S, the Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and they are sold as premium product lines due to their reputation of being big, fresh, juicy and delicious.
The history of strawberries is synonymous with nobility. British royalty used to eat wild strawberries in the 14th and 15thcenturies, and they grew in popularity across the country in the 16th century when breeding programs were first started to enhance attributes to make the fruit plumper and juicier. Today AVA Berries continues this endeavour to offer the best sweetness, quality and flavour, appearance and juiciness.
The British consume a lot of strawberries and why wouldn’t we? They are the perfect summer berry, and they go with plenty of dessert styles, such as cream and chocolate. Last summer, Scottish people alone ate through 20 punnets every second.
So now, in order to avoid any social faux pas when eating strawberries, William Hanson will guide you through the appropriate ways to eat the berries.
He said; “Frankly, I was shocked there wasn't already a dedicated guide on the etiquette of eating one of the most British of fruits, the succulent strawberry. And for however juicy and delicious these fruits may be, it's important to eat them elegantly, which is why my new guide is timely. Even if quality fruit, like AVA Berries, are only available for some of the year - displaying good manners is always in season."
Here is William Hanson’s Do’s and Do Not’s List when eating strawberries:
· The Victorians invented a tiny strawberry fork to eat smaller, wild strawberries. They’re hard to find today and there’s no real need but a regular fork should still be used in formal or semi-formal settings.
· A spoon is only needed to partner the fork if cream, for example, is served with the strawberries.
· Formally, if strawberries are served with their stems attached, they are eaten with a knife and fork - and yes, you can cut the stalk off.
· Informally, large, juicy strawberries can be eaten whole and using the hands. Grasp them by the stem, dip them in chocolate or cream (if you wish), and bite.
· All discarded stems are left on the discard section of the plate – that is the top left-hand side.
· There is no need to hull strawberries anymore. Hulling is a technique to remove harder, woodier cores when the strawberries are not quite at their best. Good hosts will always serve the best strawberries on offer, so no one needs worry about hulling.
· Cream or chocolate are optional accompaniments to the juicy main event. Less is more, and when enjoying premium AVA strawberries there is no need to add sugar - let the strawberries be the dominant flavour.
· All accompaniments should be served separately and not pre-poured over the strawberries. Allow each guest to add as much or as little as they like.
· If you wish to dine like royalty, try eating strawberries (and indeed any fruit or vegetable) when in season. Her Majesty and her family are keen champions of seasonal eating and if it is good enough for them, it is good enough for us.
· It is never acceptable to feed a strawberry to another adult when dining in a formal setting; it can make other diners feel extremely uncomfortable.
· And finally, never try to remove a strawberry seed from your teeth with your finger. You should always use a toothpick, and excuse yourself from the table first.
William Hanson has certainly provided an excellent guide to eating strawberries the correct way and AVA™ Berries are excited to have teamed up with him in preparation for the summer.
Jill Witheyman, Head of Marketing at AVA Berries commented; “Strawberries are synonymous with summer time; whether that is enjoying them on a picnic or when watching Wimbledon – strawberries offer a taste of summer.
“And AVA strawberries are the best of the best, which is why we decided to team up with William to help the millions of people that will be looking forward to home-grown strawberries this summer to enjoy them properly. Everyone loves a big juicy strawberry, but eating them isn’t without its challenges, so we’re thrilled William has developed the UK’s very first strawberry etiquette guide to help the public get the most out of their strawberries, and avoid any embarrassing moments, this summer.”
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