Albert Zwierzyński – a consultant for growing strawberries and berry plants working with the largest Polish producers – pointed out in an interview in 2022 that distinguishing Polish from foreign strawberries causes a lot of difficulties even for experts. It is best to ask the seller where the particular fruit comes from.
“Merchants are a good source of information. I would suggest that consumers talk based on the information given by the seller and create awareness here about what variety and where they bought it,” he said in an interview with Business Insider. “It’s better if these are regional fruits – from local crops.”
Check the label. Visit the farm
We can easily find out where a given strawberry comes from by reading the label on the packaging or jar. Farmers are happy to leave contact number and other data there to verify where the fruit came from. If you are concerned about that you can talk to the owner of the farm, most of the time he will let us into the cultivation area which is not a problem. – Farmers arrange self-harvest – said Zwierzyński. You can visit Facebook profiles and view items from the collection. A lot of information is public.
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Tips on how to distinguish Polish strawberries from foreign ones can be found on the Internet. Users of various Internet forums or Facebook groups advise to judge the color of the fruit, which should be red, not maroon. Polish strawberries are not as bright as those from Greece or Spain. Foreigners should also be sprinkled with wax. In addition, our fruit has a beautiful, intense aroma.
When asked about these tips, Business Insider’s interlocutor said directly: “All aspects: size, color, shape, etc. are different aspects.” Based on them, it is difficult to determine where the fruit comes from. – In Poland, we have several or a dozen or more new varieties. One type is more glossy and the other is more matte. One is dark red in color and the other is dark in color. One is round and the other is oval, he said.
Focus on the stem
There is one part of the strawberry that can help us – the stem. – It is worth paying attention to its intense green color and firmness. If this fungus adheres well and does not seem tired of the (possible) journey, this means that the particular fruit is fresh and harvested some time ago, noted Albert Zwierzyński from Agro-Wspiera in 2022. He insists, however, that there is no reason to rigidly adhere to this principle always and everywhere.
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Misinformation about strawberry varieties with different purposes can be found on the Internet. Some are best suited for desserts, while others are best eaten raw. – When it comes to taste, the Fortuna and Flare varieties are delicious and are the early varieties. Alba is a variety with large, impressive fruits, and it fits perfectly into various recipes, dishes, and dessert mixes. Clary has a hint of wild strawberry. Some people say that when they eat it, they feel the aftertaste of wild strawberry. Marmalade has large fruits and is a June variety. It goes well with all kinds of preserves and is great for frosting. Rumba is universal, great taste, round shape, more spherical – the expert told us.
Nor is there any need to avoid popular discount stores for fear of getting foreign fruits. Farmers often sign contracts with the biggest chains. Sometimes fruit from local farmers can go to a small vendor selling fruit across the street, sometimes to a bazaar, sometimes to Hala Mirowska, and sometimes to a supermarket.
“illegal and dishonest”
Dr. Hub. Zbigniew Jarosz – director of the Institute of Horticultural Production at the University of Life Sciences in Lublin, as well as a berry fruit consultant cooperating with Polish farmers – insists that the imported fruit “has nothing to do with sweet, juicy and fragrant strawberries.” Polish gardens,” he says, quoted by polskisuperowoce.pl.
However, at the beginning of the season, imported strawberries are priced lower than domestic production, the service reports. “Production costs, including heat, make our Poland more expensive,” we read. Sometimes sellers-fraudsters, breaking the law, mix foreign strawberries with Polish varieties. Or, for example, fruit from Spain is packaged with a white and red flag.
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Mateusz Maruszewski, breeder and owner of the “Farmy Moje Owoc” brand, in an interview with polskisuperowoce.pl, says that some sellers may even come up with fictitious farm names to get customers to buy. The website sadyogrody.pl adds that pouring imported fruits into Polish packaging is not only associated with Poles’ favorite fruits, but also with cherries, raspberries and various vegetables. “This is illegal and dishonest – everyone has the right to know the origin of products and make a conscious choice” – warns the editorial office.
Experts from the website Polskisuperowoce.pl also recommend paying attention to the stem. When a strawberry travels a long distance—from North Africa or Southern Europe—it looks unattractive. The fruit stems from Morocco have long and large stems – larger than strawberries. The fruit from Poland is picked from the bush and then – within a few or several hours – goes to the store. During this time the fungus is unlikely to change its appearance.
Sources: Business Insider’s own materials, polskisuperowoce.pl, sadyogrody.pl
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