Japan's White Strawberry: Luxury Fruit Unboxing

Woah! That's a White Strawberry, dude!


I was in the basement supermarket in Shibuya and -- THERE IT WAS! THE WHITE STRAWBERRY!
I could smell it a few meters away. Was it real? (Yes, it was.)

One white strawberry cost 1080 Yen (US$10.00) so I decided to learn more about the Japanese white strawberry and unbox it for you in this video ... and that is what this episode is all about. It's the door into a new world full of strawberries in Japan.

About Japan's White Strawberry:
There are so many varieties / cultivars of strawberries in Japan.
The HATSUKOI NO KAORI or “SCENT OF FIRST LOVE” is Japan's first white strawberry, different than the pineberry because of its size, softer skin and juiciness and sugar content. It was created by Miyoshi Agritech Co. of Yamanashi in 2006.

In the episode, I ate the
SHIROU HOUSEKI 白い宝石 White Strawberry.
Cost: 1080 Yen ($10) for 1.
Weight: about 50 grams

It must be eaten within 24 hours according to the store manager at Tokyu's fruit section at Foodshow. They're grown on in Saga prefecture on Kyushu Island solely by Teshima Farms.

Japanese strawberries are super sweet. In fact, Japan produces the most DESSERT STRAWBERRIES in the world (source: JNTO).
Because it's so sweet, Japanese farmers give the berries romantic names like Okuda Farms massive BIJIN HIME or "Beautiful Princess" red strawberry weighing over 100g. and costing over 50,000 yen -- for one!

Other varieties of What Strawberries include:
★ Yuki Usagi "Snow Rabbit" 雪うさぎ ★ Sakura ichigo "Cherry Blossom Strawberry" さくらいちご
★ Tenshi no Mi "" Fruit of the Angels' 天使の味 Featured White Strawberries
★ Shiroi Houseki "White Jewel / White Gem" 白い宝石 ★ Hatsukoi no Kaori "Scent of First Love" 初恋の香り
☆ Pineberry / Popular in the UK and Europe but not available in Japan

They're Natural, Sort Of.

The strawberry season in Japan is from December to March, winter being the best season because the berry ripens more slowly, building up the sugar content and color over a greater period of time. Temperature control is essential. Almost all of Japan's strawberries are in greenhouses.

How come they're white?
They've been crossbred naturally over generations with albino red strawberries.
Sunlight is also highly controlled. Fruits and vegetables have a chemical called Anthocyanin which gives color when exposed to sunlight. It works like the pigment in human skin. Naturally, if you don't get sunlight, you stay pale, and that's why these are white. 10% of Teshima-san's SHIROI HOUSEKI (白い宝石 ) White Strawberries stay white after being picked which is why it's so rare. The other 90% turn pink or red.

Strikingly Beuatiful, Absolutely Romantic.

If you're in Japan during strawberry season, definitely pick up a pack of red ones at a reasonable price or splurge on a gigantic white strawberry and satisfy your curiosity.
You may be out 1,000 yen, but you'll have a fantastic story and a satisfied sweet tooth.

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URL References:
Tokyo Department Store

Tejima Farm, Saga Prefecture / 手島農園

Okuda Farm, Bijin Hime, Gifu / 奥田農園

Ota Strawberry Farm, Ichikawa / 太田いちご園

JNTO ( Japan National Tourism Organization)
No.1 dessert strawberry producer and consumer in the world

by John Daub

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