We’re berry excited...because strawberry (ichigo/いちご) season has started!
In Japan, ichigo is one of the most popular fruits and people love to go strawberry picking (ichigo-gari) to pick their own.
So, let’s go strawberry picking and then enjoy our Strawberry Picnic Sweets Packs!
If you’ve ever tried a Japanese strawberry, you’ll know they are the sweetest berry in the world!
But with over 300 kinds of strawberries available, which one is your favorite?
1. Tochiotome (とちおとめ)
Tochiotome was developed in Tochigi prefecture in 1996 and is very popular variety of strawberry in eastern Japan. The name Tochiotome comes from tochigi and otome, which mean "girls”. One of the features of this strawberry is the beautiful red color and good smell. Therefore, it's often used in cakes and other sweets. Tochiotome are easily available at the supermarket, so please try it when you have chance!
2. Amaou (あまおう)
The Amaou strawberry was developed at Fukuoka prefecture in 2005. The name (A-Ma-O-U) comes from the first letters of “amai” (sweet), “marui” (round), “ookii” (big) and “umai” (delicious). So the strawberries are sweet, round, big and delicious! Individual strawberries can weigh up to 40~50g each! Our recommendation is that you eat this strawberry as it is.
3. Beni-Hoppe (紅ほっぺ)
The Beni-Hoppe strawberry variety was developed in Shizuoka, the smallest of Japan's four islands, in 2002. Beni means red and hoppe means cheek. It's called 'Red Cheek' because in Japan there is there is a proverb - My cheek will drop - that we use to describe something that is very delicious. Beni-Hoppe strawberries taste both sweet and a little sour, so if you enjoy this combination then you'll love this strawberry.
There are lots of ways to enjoy all the different varieties of strawberries.
1. On their own
Japanese strawberries are so sweet that many people like to just eat them on their own. They are the perfect dessert or snack. Some people add condensed milk for even more sweetness!
2. Ichigo Daifuku
Strawberry Mochi (Ichigo Daifuku/いちご大福) is a very popular sweet in Japan. What's not to love about a soft rice cake, filled with sweet red bean paste and then a special Japanese strawberry?!
3. Japanese-style Strawberry Shortcake
A light and airy sponge cake, covered with whipped cream and bright red strawberries on top — this is the Japanese-style strawberry shortcake, a favorite treat in Japan. The fluffy whipped cream, so rich and sweet, melts in the mouth. The strawberries, a Japanese variety with just the right firmness and tartness, are a treat in themselves. And the sponge cake, velvety soft, brings everything together.
Try our April Sweets Pack - Strawberry Picnic - for a taste of Japanese Strawberry delights. Available until the end of March 2019 or while stocks last.