With strawberry season at its peak, what does one look for in the perfect strawberry? An intense red colour that emanates towards the center of each berry, fresh green leaves and a sweet strawberry scent. A strawberry with white flesh is often a sign of an unripe fruit that is undesirable. But what if we told you that Japanese people love white strawberries?
Well, not every white strawberry, in general, Japan loves its vibrant red, large strawberries on top of their chiffon cakes with dollops of beautifully whipped cream. But they also love the Shiroi Houseki pictured below.
The person behind the creation of this beauty is Yasuhito Teshima, who developed the technique to grow these strawberries in 2013 and has been working to perfect it since. Apart from cross breeding plant varieties, another major secret to growing White Jewel strawberries is intensely reduced exposure to sunlight, which in turn reduces the level of anthocyanin, the protein that gives fruits and vegetables their distinct vibrant colour. However, even now after years of the discovery only 10% of the crop turns out white, with even less a perfect pale white without a hint of blush. The rest of the strawberries with spots of red or washes of pink are rejected straight away. Once White Jewel strawberries are fully grown, no amount of exposure to sunlight will tint them with colour, maintaining their pale appearance and giving them an unmatched flavor similar to pineapple. These strawberries are much larger than an average strawberry!
This rare novelty does, however, come with a hefty price tag! Half a kilo of strawberries in Pakistan costs around 520rs while only one of these White Jewels costs 10$ or 1800 rupees! So, would you like to try this strawberry that is worth its weight in gold?