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Israel: Strawberry season offers new tastes

There are about 12 different strawberries varieties grown in Israel. Varying in levels of sweetness and moisture. "Today there are varieties that are much sweeter, varieties that yield more crops," says strawberry grower Udi Nachshon. However, he adds: "There are a lot of problems. Climate problems, soil fertility problems, soil diseases... But we always want to bring something different.”

In recent years, Israeli scientists and seed developers have come up with new varieties, exemplifying new tastes. The B4U (Berry for You) variety may look like a strawberry, but it tastes like a grape. Developed at the Volcani Center, the Israeli Agricultural Research Organization, the fruit has a distinct taste, almost like a grape lollipop.

According to Nachshon, B4U is a tricky grape to grow. It has therefore not yet penetrated the market. But other varieties, such as Hadar, Aya, Ilan, Angel and Peles are flourishing on the fields and flooding the produce shelves.

In recent years, several farms in Israel have begun practicing year-round growing with new techniques. The appetite for strawberries in the local market has increased and local farmers want to supply the growing demand, ideally all year long.

However, explains that despite the good quality of the Israeli strawberry, in recent years, the export of the fruit has drastically declined as other countries offer more competitive prices.

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