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Let's talk about Strawberries

Japan's love affair with strawberries is an international obsession. These ruby treasures, meticulously nurtured in greenhouses through winter, boast unparalleled sweetness and flawless beauty. No wonder they have their own national holiday on January 15th! Deep red, juicy, and barely a hint of tartness – Japanese strawberries are a far cry from their summery counterparts elsewhere. Over 300 unique varieties thrive in these climate-controlled sanctuaries, each vying for the title of tastiest.

Japanese strawberries stand out with their vibrant red color, solid flesh, and a delightful blend of sweetness with a hint of tartness.

While other countries bask in summer's strawberry bounty, Japan turns winter into a playground for these blushing fruits. The secret lies in a network of intricate greenhouses, where climate becomes an art form. Stable temperatures and meticulous care coax forth strawberries of unparalleled quality, each bite a testament to dedication and technological finesse. These are not your average summer berries; they're winter's carefully crafted jewels.

Our favourite tip on eating strawberries is to eat the tail end of the strawberry last as it is the sweetest and most delicious part. Did you know that in Japan, many people eat strawberries with condensed milk?

There are more than 300 different strawberry varieties in Japan.

here are some of the most well known (and arguably tastiest) ones.

Let's dive into the details of strawberres:

Beni-hoppe (紅ほっぺ)

- From: Shizuoka

- Slightly acidic strawberry flavor.

- Facts: The name "benihoppe" for the Beni Hoppe strawberry comes from its vibrant red color and delicious taste.

Beni (紅): This Japanese word translates to "red," referring to the strawberry's characteristic deep red color.

Hoppe (ほっぺ): This word means "cheek" in Japanese. It's linked to the idiom "hoppe ga ochiru" (ほっぺが落ちる), which translates to "cheeks falling off." This idiom describes something so delicious that it melts in your mouth and leaves your cheeks tingling with pleasure.

Therefore, "benihoppe" literally translates to "red cheeks," perfectly capturing the strawberry's appearance and the delightful experience of eating it. This evocative name was chosen as a marketing strategy to highlight the fruit's exceptional flavor and quality.

Tochiotome (とちおとめ)

Amaou (あまおう)

Sagahonoka (さがほのか)

Yumenoka (ゆめのか)

Oi-C berry (おいCベリ)

Marihime (まりひめ)

Hatsukoi no Kaori (初恋の香り)

Where strawberries arcultivated in Japan

Credits to weathernews

Sweetness comparison


すっぱさ = sourness

Credits to Taro-ichigo website

Comparison of the physical features of strawberries

やわらかめ = tenderness

硬め = hardness

シュッとしてる = pointiness

まるっこい = roundness

Other topics relating to Strawberries in Japan

Why are strawberries grown in winter in Japan?

Japan's temperate climate, characterized by hot and humid summers with frequent typhoons and heavy rains, poses challenges for cultivating high-quality strawberries. These conditions make the berries vulnerable to diseases, pests, and rot. In contrast, the cooler and drier winter provides a more stable and controlled environment conducive to optimal strawberry growth.

To overcome the climatic limitations, a significant portion of strawberry cultivation in Japan takes place within advanced greenhouses equipped with climate control systems. These greenhouses efficiently regulate temperature, humidity, and light, enabling year-round strawberry production independent of outdoor weather conditions.

The demand for high-quality, fresh strawberries in Japan remains consistently high throughout the year. Winter strawberries, considered a luxury fruit, command premium prices, contributing to their profitability for farmers. The cultural significance of strawberries is highlighted on Strawberry Day, celebrated on January 15th, reflecting the nation's affection for this winter delight. Cultural preferences also play a role in Japanese strawberry cultivation. Traditionally, consumers prioritize aesthetics and consistency in their fruits.

Greenhouses allow farmers to exert precise control over factors such as size, shape, and color, resulting in visually appealing and uniformly shaped berries.

In response to the challenges posed by winter conditions, Japan has developed unique strawberry varieties specifically tailored for greenhouse cultivation during this season. These varieties are resilient to cooler temperatures and thrive in controlled environments, contributing to the success of winter strawberry production in the country.

Is there a demand for sour strawberries?

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