Strawberries - the mouth-watering summer fruit that can make most milkshakes, smoothies, cakes, or salads even more delicious. Although most Americans enjoy the juicy fruit in the summer, in Israel, strawberry season actually starts in December! And just recently, an Israeli farmer managed to grow one that's a bit larger than your average berry of this type.
In Kadima-Zoran, located in central Israel nearly 22 miles from Tel Aviv, a strawberry grown by Israeli farmer Chahi Ariel recently set the Guinness World Record for the world's heaviest strawberry. Weighing about 289 grams (10 ounces), it grew to five times the size of an average strawberry. It even weighs more than the average cell phone! According to Guinness, it was was 18 centimeters (7 inches) long and had a circumference of approximately 34 centimeters (13 inches). According to Ariel, he had noticed that the fruit growing on his family farm the previous year had been quite larger than usual. Knowing this, he had anticipated that the strawberry would have record-breaking measurements, and kept it in the freezer as proof until he was able to confirm it was a record.
The family was apparently ecstatic when they found out the news. "When we heard, it was an amazing feeling. I jumped in the car, laughed and sang," said Ariel, as he proudly showed the certificate on his laptop. "We've been waiting for this for a long time." According to Guinness World Records, the strawberry outweighed the previous record-holder by one ounce. The Ariel family succeeded a Japanese farmer, who previously held the world record after discovering a 250-gram (9 oz) strawberry on his farm in 2015.
The frozen strawberry that was grown on the Ariel family farm is of the Ilan variety, a type of strawberry that tends to grow to quite a large size. A scientist who bred this variety reported that the size of the Ariel family's strawberry is likely due to the unusually cold weather that the previous year 2021 had brought. The cold winter slowed down the ripening process, allowing several berries to merge together throughout the months, eventually forming one large strawberry. It's a pity we'll never know how the now-frozen, record-breaking fruit tasted while it was fresh. But perhaps bigger doesn't necessarily mean better in the case of the 7-inch-long strawberry...