the mutant strawberries of south korea


As I walked around various South Korean cities, I couldn’t help but notice the huge amount of strawberries available on every street corner. Not only were there thousands, but they seemed to be abnormally large and a bright fire engine red. I could only imagine what they tasted like. After I tasted them, they did not disappoint. I don’t know many [or any for that matter] people who don’t like strawberries, and the sheer quantities available would have made even the berriest strawberry aficionado sit up and take notice. For ₩6000 [6000 South KoreanWon is a little more than U.S. $5.00] a huge quantity was there for the taking.

South Korea is, as I now know, famous for its red fruit. In celebration of this, every year in mid-April, Nonsan, Korea’s largest strawberry producer, holds a festival in honor of the red wonder fruit. At the Nonsan Strawberry Festival, visitors can pick as many strawberries as their baskets can hold, and also try different foods made of strawberries such as strawberry rice cakes, hot sauce, pancakes and jams. Other events include an exhibition, cake baking, and fireworks display.

While I was in South Korea just a few weeks too early to take advantage of this festival [I had not brought my strawberry speedos anyway], I remained nonetheless in awe of this quite delicious red wonder fruit. The mutant strawberries of South Korea: so large they could swallow a woodland creature and scare a small child. But they are oh so good.