One of the key features of strawberries is its redness that many people love but what if there are other options? Strawberry flavored desserts and snacks are colored pink to mimic the redness of strawberries but Japanese farmers have a different take on this fruit.
White strawberries from Japan are rare luxury fruits that put the usual red strawberry to shame in terms of taste and size. They are a unique and rare variety of strawberries that have captured the attention of fruit lovers around the world. Unlike the common red strawberries we see in most grocery stores, these strawberries have a distinctive white color that sets them apart.
This strawberry is called Shiroi Houseki (White Jewel) or Hatsukoi no Kaori strawberry - the scent of first love in Japanese which is pretty accurate because it looks unique. The cool thing about it is that when it is cut in half, the inside is also white!
These strawberries were developed through years of careful breeding by a group of Japanese farmers who wanted to create a new type of strawberry with a sweeter and more delicate flavor. The result was a strawberry with a creamy white flesh and a soft, juicy texture. It has been said that it is sweeter than regular red strawberries.
Another awesome Japanese fruit is the Red Ruby Roman grapes. You think regular grapes are big? These ones are LARGE!
The difference is in the way it is grown and of course the size difference which is a lot. White strawberries were created by the Farmer Yasuhito Teshima who focused on cross breeding the strawberries until he was able to create white ones.
The process of breeding strawberries is complex and involves selecting and crossing different strains of the fruit to create new ones with certain traits. In the case of the white strawberries, the farmers began by crossing a white-fruited variety of strawberry from Chile with a red-fruited variety from Japan. They carefully selected the best plants and continued to crossbreed them in order to achieve the desired traits of a creamy white color and a delicate, sweet flavor.
Unfortunately, the farmers soon realized that simply crossing different varieties of strawberries was not enough to achieve the desired white color. They needed to restrict the amount of sunlight the plants received in order to reduce the anthocyanin levels. When the strawberries are not exposed to sunlight, they produce less chlorophyll, which is responsible for the green color in most plants. The result of this is a white or pale pink color.
To achieve this, the farmers shielded the plants from direct sunlight using a special kind of cover. This allowed them to control the amount of sunlight the strawberries received and induced the desired color change.
Over time, the farmers were able to refine their breeding techniques and develop a strain of white strawberries that was not only beautiful and delicious, but also hardy and resilient. Today, the white strawberries of Japan are considered a rare and valuable delicacy, prized for their unique appearance and sweet, delicate flavor. They are typically grown in small quantities and sold at high prices in specialty markets and luxury fruit shops, and are often given as gifts for special occasions, such as weddings or holidays.
Japanese white strawberries can cost over $10 per piece. Sometimes, a pack of 8 can be prized at $150. There are several reasons for this. Even with refining the process of making white strawberries in Japan only 10% of the berries grown in a season turn out to be pure white, others have red or pink spots. The few ones that do make are special even among white strawberries so the hefty price tag makes sense. Here are other reasons they are expensive.
They aren't the only expensive fruits in Japan, for more, read our article about the most expensive fruits in Japan.
Why stop at one type of white strawberry when you can make a lot more? Japanese farmers also have different types of white strawberries for people to choose from.
This is one of the most well-known types of white strawberries and it is the rarest in Japan. The name "Shiroi Houseki" means "white jewel" in Japanese, and it is known for its delicate flavor and creamy white color without any red stain in sight. It has a soft texture and is often described as tasting like a combination of strawberries and cream.
This type of white strawberry has a pinkish-white color and a unique aroma that is reminiscent of roses. It is grown in the Yamanashi Prefecture and known for its juicy texture and sweet, floral flavor. When growing, it is allowed a little sunlight to get the pink tint. This fruit is a perfect valentine gift.
Pearl Princess is a white strawberry with a bright white color and is produced by Nara Ichigo Lab. It has a tropical aroma and the taste is compared to apple, banana and even pineapples.
Saga Prefecture is the home of Angel Strawberry, often known as Angel Eight (AE). The strawberry's skin is pinkish-white, and it is believed to have a flavor that is a combination of sweetness and sourness. It is also possible to grow this strawberry at home.
Awayuki is distinguished from other white strawberries by its sweetness as opposed to its scent. While originally being a product of western Japan, strawberries have recently expanded in Kanto as well.
A strawberry from Hokkaido is called a tokun. The skin of this strawberry, in contrast to other white strawberries, is more red or pink than white. It has a strong fruity aroma that reminds some people of peaches. Many claim that it has a sweet caramel flavor.
Strawberries called Milky Berry are grown in Tochigi Prefecture. The Milky Berry strawberry was inspired by the white Hatsukoi no Kaori strawberry. It is a variety of white strawberries that was first developed in 2020! They referred to it as "milky" because it has a mellow texture, is sweet, and is white, just like milk.
Awayuki white strawberries come from the south of Japan, grown in Kagoshima Prefecture. They are a variety of Sagahonoka strawberries. Instead of pure white, the strawberry’s skin is usually pale orange or pink.
In conclusion, the creation of the white strawberries in Japan was a testament to the skill and dedication of the farmers who developed this unique variety of fruit. The result is a fruit that is truly a work of art, and a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the human spirit. But there are more unique strawberries to Japan, like the delicious amaou strawberry!
Are you interested in Tasting some Yummy snacks from Japan? Order a ZenPop snack box to get a box of treats.
This article was originally written by our freelance writer Umm-Kulthum Abdulkareem and edited by us.