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Ripe or not ripe #390514 - Ask Extension


Ripe or not ripe #390514

Asked March 27, 2017, 4:57 PM EDT

Dear Friends:

The straw berries that we purchase from our stores and very green and white inside and hard.
They have no taste or aroma. I believe they are picked way too early. When I purchase them 
at a strawberry farm they are very good. What should a strawberry when ready to eat look like on the inside?  
                                 Thanks, Joe Yakimow. 

Plumas County California

Expert Response

Perhaps these guidelines for commercial growers will help you understand the challenges for shipping a fragile commodity such as strawberries to a distant market. “Strawberry quality is a combination of appearance and flavor. . . Fruit that is harvested at full ripeness will have the highest sugar content and flavor. However, fruit is often harvested prior to full ripeness so that it is firm enough to be shipped. . . Strawberry fruit should be firm but not crunchy. Excessively ripe fruit can be too soft.” ( Even so, some commercial cultivars are more tasty than others. 

On the other hand, strawberries grown and sold locally are entirely different varieties. The fruit can typically remain on the plant until fully ripe, are harvested daily, and will be sold the same day, perhaps at the farmer’s own fruit stand.

Jean R. Natter Replied March 29, 2017, 8:50 PM EDT

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