The strawberry is a fruit of ancient origin, conical in shape, with an intense red pulp. Once the harvest began in spring and ended in summer; today, thanks to greenhouse cultivation, the strawberry is available almost all year round. The regions of greatest production are Campania, Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Piedmont.
There are many varieties that stand out for their size: among these the "Pocahontas" is known for its size. The strawberry is a fairly delicate fruit, to be handled as little as possible: before consuming it should be washed quickly, preferably with white wine or ice water to keep its scent unaltered. The petiole should be removed after washing to prevent water from entering the pulp.
Excellent as a fresh fruit, the strawberry is seasoned with sugar and lemon juice or with wine or Chantilly cream, and is widely used in pastry making for the preparation of pies , Bavarian cream , foams, ice creams and sauces to be served with spoon desserts.
They can also be bought in other months of the year, but it is from April to June that the consumption of strawberries is concentrated in Italy (about 80% of the total). Although our country is among the main European producers, about 60% of the strawberries we eat are imported from Spain, the first exporter to Europe and the second largest producer in the world.
In particular, Iberian strawberries have competitive prices due to the large quantities of production and are the first to appear on the stalls of large retailers. They come from the Atlantic coast of Huelva, in the region of Andalusia, where they are intensively cultivated on an area of about 6,600 hectares, mostly under plastic macrotunnels, to avoid the risk of damage due to bad weather.
The main varieties grown are Camarosa, Candonga (of remarkable quality), Splendor and Fortuna. The origin of strawberries is always indicated on the packaging.