Strawberries are so well-loved and are said to be the most widely grown fruit in the world. The strawberries consumed in Japan today were first brought to Nagasaki by Dutch ships during the Edo period and are now known as “Dutch Strawberries”. At the time, they were mainly for visual appreciation, and the cultivation for consumption started in the Meiji period. Until the 1960s, strawberries were enjoyed as a seasonal fruit around May and June, but increasing demand has led to innovations in cultivation methods, and today the fruit is available throughout the year. As a result of active crossbreeding, new varieties are born almost every year. The size of the fruit, the richness of the color, and the balance of sweetness and sourness are unique in each variety. Strawberries flower and bear fruit about three times a season. The first fruit is large in size and has a strong sweetness. The second fruit has a beautiful shape and is sweet. The third fruit tend to be more acidic and has a good flavor balance for making jam.
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