We are starting this narrative out with a bit of a quiz, I hope you're up for it. Besides Mardi Gras, what is the largest free event in the state of Louisiana? You've probably figured out from the title of this article it will have something to do with strawberries. You would be correct in that assumption.

strawberry
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
loading...

This weekend, April 8 and April 9, marks the return of the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival and they are back in a very big way. The festival had been shuttered for the past two seasons because of COVID but this weekend they're pulling out all the stops as the festival celebrates 50 years.

The weather forecast for the weekend is wonderful and festival organizers are anticipating record crowds for each day of the festival. Of course, there will be plenty of food and drink available with more than a few of the speciality dishes on offer featuring fresh Louisiana strawberries.

Strawberries have been grown and cultivated in Louisiana since the 1800s. Many migrants of Italian and Hungarian descent descended on Louisiana during that time. They found the state's warm climate and rich soil perfect for growing the sweet and juicy berries.

I bet you didn't know that strawberries are members of the rose family and each berry contains about 200 seeds on the outside of each berry. Strawberries are packed with antioxidants including vitamin C and a serving of eight medium-sized berries is only 45 calories. 

Now that we know they're healthy and good for you, let's explore some of our favorite ways to enjoy them.

8 Uses for Strawberries That Are Simple, Fun, and Delicious