Strawberries are easily some of the best fruits in the world. Seriously, just look at Neopolitan ice cream! You don’t get to the top three dessert flavors without a little effort, and strawberries seem to have put in some real work. Funny enough, there are a lot of people that spend their whole lives cultivating strawberries for all sorts of different purposes and goals. One of the most interesting goals is size.
Let’s take a deeper look at the world of strawberry champions and discover the world’s largest strawberry ever grown. Buckle up for a flavor-packed adventure!
The Largest Strawberry Ever Grown
The world record for the largest strawberry ever grown is held by Ariel Chahi, who registered the strawberry with the Guinness World Records. The strawberry weighed 10.19 ounces (289 grams) and was 7 inches long with a circumference of over 13 inches.
Generally speaking, a single strawberry can fall into three categories of sizes (according to strawberryplants.org).
|Small Strawberry||7 grams||1-inch diameter|
|Medium Strawberry||12 grams||1.25-inch diameter|
|Large Strawberry||18 grams||1.375-inch diameter|
Looking at the standard measurements for the average strawberry puts into perspective just how huge the world record really is! For reference, the world record is over 16 times heavier than the average large strawberry and over 41 times heavier than the average small strawberry.
The Backstory to the World Record Strawberry
A lot of world records don’t have data or information behind them, but this record does. The farmer that grew the world’s largest strawberry is an Israeli man named Ariel Chahi. The type of strawberry is a specialty variety known as the “Ilan.” Chahi has been growing this type of strawberry at his family’s farm, Strawberries in the Field (תות בשדה משק אריאל), for a long time, although he never expected to have the largest one on record. The family got the strawberry variety from a scientist named Dr. Nir Dai, a researcher from the Agricultural Research Organization in Israel.
Although the Ilan variety developed by Dr. Dai is known to have some large specimens, they aren’t usually record-breakers. Still, the perfect environment and circumstances came together to create this tasty monster. As Dr. Dai explains, “During this strawberry season in late January and early February, it was particularly cold. The strawberry developed slowly for more than 45 days from flowering which caused its large size at the full ripening stage.”
What essentially happened was multiple berries formed from the flowering and all fused together to create one mega-berry. Even wilder, the cold snap didn’t just create one mega-berry, but a total of four! The one that was measured for the record was, obviously, the largest, but the other three were nearly identical in size.
The Previous World Record
Before the record set by Chahi, the previous record was a huge 250-gram strawberry that was grown by Koji Nakao in Japan. The final strawberry was weighed in Fukuoka, Japan, back in 2015. The main difference between the current and former record holders was the type of strawberry. Where the new record is the Ilan variety, the Japanese record was a Japanese variety called Amaou.
The Amaou strawberry is a renowned Japanese variety grown in Fukuoka. Its name, an acronym of its best attributes, stands for sweet, round, big, and tasty. Known as the “king” of Japanese strawberries, they are known for their bright red color, large size, and sweet flavor. They are a popular winter food, and January 5 is annually known as Strawberry Day in Japan. These strawberries have a rich history and are enjoyed in various seasonal snacks such as Japanese strawberry shortcakes, Ichigo daifuku, and strawberry sandwich cookies.
When Was the Record Set?
The current record set by Chahi was officially posted to the Guinness World Record website on February 22, 2022, although the record was officially set on February 12, 2021. The record isn’t just a big one, but a recent one.
The largest and heaviest strawberry on record was grown by an Israeli farmer growing the Ilan variety for his family business. The particularly cold winter allowed the strawberry to fuse together with all the nearby strawberries, creating a mega-berry that ultimately weighed more than an iPhone and beat out the previous record-holder from Japan.
One question still remains: Did Ariel and his family eat the strawberry? We may never know!
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