to a Whole New World of Strawberry Flavor and Aroma
For many centuries wild strawberries were the ONLY strawberries. Woodland strawberries growing in the woods were picked by children and families for fresh eating and for preserves. Alpine strawberries were first discovered in the first half of the 16th century and then rediscovered in the 18th century. Alpines never achieved the acclaim that they deserved because of the accidental cross in Europe of the virginia strawberry from America and the chilean strawberry from South America. The world went gaga over these new very large strawberries with a new flavor, the flavor of strawberries with a hint of pineapple, then known as pineapple strawberries or pineberries.
Within the last few years we have collected rare hybrid strawberry varieties and now sell them on our site at Legendary Strawberries. Varieties we now offer include ‘Fairfax’, Musks (aka bubble berries), ‘Marshall’, and ‘Mieze Schindler’ (aka strasberries or framberries).
Gourmets still prize alpine strawberries but now home gardeners are learning of them and growing them. Hybrid strawberries have been bred to ship long distances. In the process, flavor took a back seat to shippability. Consumers are tired of these strawberries with poor flavor and since the modern trend is to grow your own food alpine strawberries are seeing a popularity that they never saw before.
For nearly 30 years I have been growing and collecting alpine strawberry cultivars. My name is Michael Wellik. The first time I tasted these strawberries it was the beginning of turning these strawberries into my life’s work. The exquisite flavor and aroma. The package was small, but the taste was and is gigantic.
It took me years to locate the famous ‘Reine des Vallees’ cultivar shown in the photo below. The longer I grow this cultivar the more impressed I am with its productivity, vigor, hardiness, flavor and aroma. It is my favorite red fruiting cultivar.
Years ago I found a cultivar named ‘Pineapple Crush’ from a seed company in New England. It has since disappeared from mail order catalogs but I still grow it and it is my favorite white fruiting cultivar. Take a look at a handful of fruit of this cultivar taken a couple of years ago.
In general, the yellow and white fruiting cultivars of alpine strawberries are sweeter in my opinion than the red fruit. White and yellow fruit has a texture that is slightly different from the reds. I find that ‘Pineapple Crush’ has a hint of pineapple flavor and very ripe fruit has at times a hint of vanilla flavor. All of these characteristics a terrific but the best feature in my mind is that white and yellow fruit are not attractive to birds. Birds can haul away a whole crop of red alpines. I’ve seen them testing the white and yellow fruit and will peck at them. They may even carry away a few once they’re convinced that they are ripe.
We invite you to try alpine strawberries. Take a trip back in time and experience flavor and aroma that will surprise and delight you.
You can now purchase seeds and plant from this site. We have transitioned to this new e-commerce platform that allows us to sell different types of products on the same site. Isn’t technology wonderful?
Product information is available on several sites including two blogs and our YouTube channel. Please visit these sites to answer your questions about growing gourmet strawberries.
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