When it comes to chocolate dipped fruit, many people typically think of strawberries, and for good reason - these juicy berries are seemingly made for chocolate, pairing perfectly with its rich taste. Strawberries have been a prominent part of the cooking world for decades, and many countries around the world now produce this fruit for export to be used in everything from desserts to salads.
International Strawberry Growth
Although the U.S. has quickly become the biggest producer of strawberries in the world, many countries have found ways to capitalize on this sector of agriculture as well. Strawberries-for-Strawberry-Lovers.com reports that Spain is the largest exporter of the sweet fruit, while Poland is the biggest exporter when it comes to frozen varieties. The food can become anything from toppings for angel food cakes to chocolate dipped strawberries once they arrive at their destination.
The University of Florida reports that strawberries do well in cool climates, which is why many European countries are now becoming big players in the strawberry export market. Many farmers have also mastered the art of "forced cultivation" to harvest big blooms before frigid temperatures roll in.
Strawberry Production in the U.S.
Strawberries-for-Strawberry-Lovers.com states that the U.S. grows up to 25 percent of the world's strawberries every year. California produces approximately nine-tenths of the fruit grown in the U.S. where the climate is ideal for year-long growing.
Although Florida only grows up to 9 percent of the country's strawberries annually, the state plays a large role in keeping grocery produce aisles stocked with the fruit while the rest of the country is enduring winter. In conjunction with California, these two states account for at least 95 percent of the strawberry production in the U.S.
Popular Varieties of Strawberries
Often considered as the best-tasting strawberry, Earliglow is produced in the U.S., according to the University of Vermont. However, it can be difficult to grow this variety due to its susceptibility to mildew and its low yield.
Honeoye is another popularity variety because it is considered to be incredibly hardy and easy to ship. However, it can become tart and it is also vulnerable to plant disease.
When shopping for strawberries late in the season, Allstar and Clancy are the most desirable on grocery store shelves. These berries are large, sweet and firm, making them ideal for snacking or including in desserts. Farmers have also grown partial to these varieties because they are fairly resistant to disease and yield high numbers.