Is the Japanese white strawberry worth the hefty price tag?

These Japanese strawberries, which are a big part of the luxury fruit market in Japan, are white inside and out. They are super hard to grow and mostly (if not only) found in Japan. Because of this, you’ll occasionally find them in very select spots throughout Canada and the USA – if you can find them at all.

They’re bred to be bigger, softer, and even sweeter than an average strawberry. There are a few varieties of this boojie fruit, but the most exclusive is the White Jewel, also known as Shiroi Houseki.

The reason the strawberry is white is because growers like Teshima cut down on sunlight, which reduces anthocyanin levels. This pigment in fruits, which is naturally occurring, gives fruits and vegetables their colors. Yet even with ten years of experimentation and research, only around 10% of the strawberries come out white. Very few are completely pale, and the rest have red or pink patches.

White Jewel strawberries have a sizeable price tag partly because of the years spent breeding them, the low number of them per crop (yield rate), the time and energy that goes into growing them, and also space. The farms which grow Japanese white strawberries also need a lot of space for them to develop properly, which further contributes to their alarming price.

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