Basic puree is put in a food processor and purÃ©e Sixteenth-century author William Butler wrote this tribute to the strawberry: "Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did." Red, juicy and conically shaped, the strawberry is a member of the rose family and has grown wild for centuries in both the Americas and Europe. The Romans valued the fruit for its reputed therapeutic powers for everything from loose teeth to gastritis. However, it wasn't until the late 13th century that the plant was first cultivated. The most common American variety is the result of several centuries of crossbreeding of the wild Virginia strawberry (North America's main native strawberry) and a Chilean variety. Commercial strawberry products include preserves, jams, jellies, syrups and various desserts. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and also provide some potassium and iron.