The unusual fruit has the genetic make-up of a strawberry but its smaller size and deeply positioned seeds make it look more like a cross between a strawberry and a raspberry.
Originating as a wild strawberry species, the berry faced extinction before it was ‘rediscovered’ by a Dutch grower seven years ago. The Strasberry has already enjoyed a recent renaissance in mainland Europe. Waitrose buyers expect that its sweet, unique flavour will also make it a big hit in the UK in 2008. It will be available in 17 London Waitrose branches until late June/ early July.
Waitrose Fruit and Vegetable Buyers have a history of working with suppliers to bring back heritage varieties from days gone by. Past triumphs include the revival of apple varieties including the Lord Lambourne, the Laxton Superb and the Worcester Pearman as well as king of root vegetables the ‘Golden Beetroot.’
This year the ‘Strasberry’ will be added to the range which includes the Gariguette Strawberry. A rural French variety which dates back to the 1930s, the Gariguette though it is now grown exclusively for Waitrose in England.
Nicki Baggott, Waitrose Fruit Buyer said: “The Strasberry is a very versatile product which brings the best tastes of summertime and a very pretty appearance to the pudding menu. We are always keen to innovate and have long worked to save heritage varieties including the Delbard D’Estivalle and the Suffolk Pink apple. As the summer unfolds we won’t be surprised to hear that our customers are inviting their friends over for Strasberry Daiquiris, Pavlovas or serving them up with cream.”
Waitrose Strasberries are £3.99 for 125g. Waitrose English Gariguette Strawberries are now available in 80 Waitrose branches and all branches by mid April.