Fruit: Fun Facts

Source: The USDA Fruit Laboratory

Blackberries and Raspberries

Bramble ramble:there are over 200 different known species of raspberries but only 2 species are grown on a large scale.
the people of Troy, in modern-day Turkey, were the first to note an appreciation of the raspberry fruit.
in 45 A.D. the raspberry fruit were called “ida,” probably after the mountain they were found growing on.
the plant itself was important for medicinal uses long before the fruit-raspberry leaf tea is one common use.
4 A.D. saw the first writings on the cultivation of raspberries.
breeding made greater gains when American varieties were crossed with European varieties.
although fruit only grows on 2nd year canes, there are some “primocane” varieties which produce fruit on the tips of the first year canes then produce fruit on the lower portions the next year.
brambles are more acclimated to colder climates but there are a few tropical and subtropical varieties.
black raspberries are indigenous to North America—the cross between a blackberry and a raspberry dates back to 1893 in Geneva, New York.
“batology” is the taxonomic study of blackberries—there are over 1,000 known species!

Blueberries

Did you know that blueberries:are related to azaleas, camellias, heathers, and rhododendrons?
are native to North America?
weren't improved by scientific breeding work until the early 1900s?
won't ripen once they are picked!
are becoming more popular than ever—over 1500 new products containing blueberries were introduced last year!!!
have more antioxidants than most other fruits and vegetables?

Citrus

Did you know: citrus grew in Asia 20 million years ago?
citrus was first mentioned in literature in 2400 B.C.?
the first varieties of citrus were bitter and not edible?
each person in the U.S. eats about 12.5 lbs (5.6 kilos) of citrus per year!!!
citrus is the most widely grown crop in the world!
Brazil produces the largest amount of oranges and grapefruits in the world!
in Florida there are approximately 10.3 million citrus trees on 853,000 acres of land!
there is more fiber in an orange than in most other fruits and veggies!
Florida oranges may be greener than California oranges because the night temperatures in Florida are warmer, which causes more chlorophyll to migrate into the peel; they are still ripe and sweet though.
British sailors used to be called “Limeys” because they ate citrus to prevent scurvy on long sea voyages.
if you plant a single seed from an orange you will probably get more than one plant growing from it.
immature growth on most citrus trees will have sharp thorns. These tend to break off as the wood gets older.

Cranberries

Crazy cranberry facts: cranberries are in the same family as blueberries: Vaccinium.
cranberries were domesticated in the twentieth century.
most cranberries are consumed during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
cranberries' growing popularity began in the 1960s with the promotion of cranberry juice and cranberry juice blends.
the estimated value of cranberries grown in the United States is several hundred million dollars.

Peaches

Fabulous peachy facts: peaches were once known as Persian apples.
“you're a real peach” originated from the tradition of giving a peach to the friend you liked.
peaches were mentioned as early as 79 A.D. in literature.
most peaches are cultivated by grafting different combinations of rootstocks to scions.
there are over 700 varieties of peaches-some Chinese varieties are even flat like hockey pucks!
in China the peach is a symbol of longevity and good luck.
1565 is the starting date of the first peach orchard in Florida.
nectarines are just peaches without the fuzz!
“free-stone” peach just refers to how the flesh of the peach separates from the pit.
peaches are sometimes referred to as “stone” fruit due to their pits.

Strawberries

Did you know that strawberries: were cultivated in ancient Rome!
were used as a medicinal herb in the 13th century?
are not really a fruit or a berry but the enlarged receptacle of the flower?
are grown in every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada?
are a member of the Rose family!
have a museum dedicated to them in Belgium?
were first cultivated back in the 16th and 17th centuries!
are very high in vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants?

Food and SuperstitionsFoodVegetables: Fun Facts