Tolkien Gateway

Strawberries

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"I shan't call it the end, till we've cleared up the mess." — Sam
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"The fruit was so plentiful that young hobbits very nearly bathed in strawberries and cream..."
The Return of the King, The Grey Havens
Bunch of Strawberries.jpg
Strawberries
LocationMiddle-Earth
Strawberries were wild berries found by Bilbo Baggins in the upper Vales of Anduin, as he journeyed eastward on the Quest of Erebor. The presence of the strawberries during Bilbo's journey helps to pinpoint the time at which he came upon them: "At that latitude, strawberries would probably fruit and blackberries blossom between mid-June and mid-July..." (The Atlas of Middle-earth)

Inspiration

"...he ate three wild strawberries that he found on its bank, but it was not much good."
The Hobbit, Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire

J.R.R. Tolkien's adventure in Switzerland in 1911 was his inspiration for the journey from Rivendell to the other side of the Misty Mountains, and it is quite possible he consumed strawberries during this time. (Letter 306). In Michael Coren's biography on Tolkien, he notes, "For dessert he liked a trifle or, in summer, strawberries with lots of cream." (J.R.R. Tolkien, "End Times") In J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, No. 23 contains an illustration by J.R.R. Tolkien of a strawberry.

References