To a Midwesterner, the winters of Chiba can be quite tame. Sure it gets cold, and maybe we might see snow… maybe… but for the most part the temperate weather is a blessing compared with the harsh realities of winter back home.
In my latest trip with the Chiba-kun Ambassadors, I traveled to central Chiba and Naruto area to try some of the famous strawberries in Sammu City.
Twenty-some of us were let loose in the greenhouse for a forty minute all you can eat strawberry feast!
While there were probably almost 15 greenhouses on the farm, 3 were open for picking. I’ve never been strawberry picking before, and seeing rows upon rows of fresh ready to pick strawberries was pretty exciting.
But the biggest surprise came when the proprietor began telling us a little bit about the strawberries we were going to bite into.
The strawberry patch in Sammu had 5 different varieties of strawberries to try, as well as one variety that was still waiting on becoming an official flavor! I had no idea that strawberries could come in so many varieties.
1) Autumn Princess (アキヒメ)
A rather slender berry with a sweetness not dissimilar to sugar water
2) Rosie cheeks (紅ほっぺ)
This berry tended to have a more angular shape. It was sweet with a little sour.
3) Fusanoka (ふさのか)
Tasted like you were eating a strawberry fruit by the foot. The exact same taste as the US’s artificial strawberry flavoring.
4) Aromatic Fields (かおり野)
I rather smooth flavor, with a slight bitterness.
5) Berry Delicious (おいCベリー)
I thought this one was rather similar to the types of strawberries you find in US supermarkets.
6) Test Flavor 1 (試作1号)
I also thought this one had a similar flavor to US strawberry, it was however a little more juicy. It was a bit surprising to hear that this flavor originated right here on the farm in Chiba.
If you are in the Naruto area and would like to visit the Village of Sammu for some strawberry picking, check out the info below:
Website (ENG): http://sanmu15.com/english/index.html