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Garden to Table: Farmer Gracy’s Guide to Strawberries

By Alicia Rudnicki Espionage most likely isn't what comes to mind when selecting a punnet of sweet yet tart strawberries at the greengrocer's. Yet it was the furtive act of a French spy, Amédée-François Frézier, to which we owe the luxuriously large size of today's strawberries. In the early eighteenth century, the French government sent this spy of many skills to South America to gather intelligence about Spanish fortifications for future attacks. His assignment also included recording local flora and fauna. Dramatic History The name Frézier is related to the French word fraise for strawberry. Frézier's discovery of the large berries of the Chilean strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) seems serendipitous considering that he owed his last name to a gift of...

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