A Fruity Summer: The History Behind Strawberry Shortcake Parties

Colleen O'Morrow

Posted on June 14 2019

Happy National Strawberry Shortcake Day! Our Strawberry Shortcake candle is marked down to $11 today (6/14) only. Shop it here!

history of strawberry shortcake

Strawberry fields in 1930. Photo Source: The Orange County Register

It’s not a secret that summer is the peak season for the ripest, sweetest fruit such as strawberries, watermelon, peaches and many more. That’s why we centered our Summer Collection candles around some of the sweetest treats associated with summer fruit. While diving into miscellaneous research for our scents, I stumbled upon something interesting: The history of strawberry shortcake parties!

You might be saying to yourself, ‘the history of strawberry shortcake parties? I didn’t know that was a thing?!’. You’re right. Strawberry shortcake parties are a social fad of the past, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dig into a little bit of history.

In a poll we recently conducted on the Cultivated Candle Co. Instagram, 90% of voters said that they had not heard of strawberry shortcake parties. I was in that same boat until researching this classic American dessert.

There’s a long history of strawberry shortcake that dates back to the 15th century - But something interesting happened at the turn of the 20th century in America.  Strawberries became more popular with the transcontinental railroad in 1869, which shipped this high demand product across the country. (Source: Tori Avey)

strawberry picking

Strawberry pickers in 1900-1910 (estimated). Photo source: The History Museum of Hood River County

In other states, strawberries were a fruit harvested in one season and primarily in June. The popularity of strawberries led to the strawberry shortcake dish becoming a trend with Americans. Thus, strawberry shortcake parties were born to celebrate a successful strawberry harvest. These parties also served as a celebration to the start of summer.

Today, June 14, is National Strawberry Shortcake Day! While many Americans no longer have strawberry shortcake parties, we can still celebrate in spirit during this exciting time of the summer. I hope you loved this little history dive as much as I did! In honor of National Strawberry Shortcake Day, enjoy our Strawberry Shortcake candle marked down to $11.

Strawberry Shortcake Candle

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