Strawberries are instantly recognisable fruits. Their vibrant colours make many people associate the fruit with summer, but summer can be enjoyed early. The delicious, sweet taste of Spanish strawberries can be enjoyed from as early as January.
Depending on the degree of ripeness, strawberries may have notes ranging from sweet to acid. The favourable climate of Spain helps to produce full flavoured succulent berries, which are ideal for a healthy snack and perfect for keeping those hunger pangs at bay. The Spanish growers work to high standards to ensure the berries are bursting with flavour and goodness and now with new means of production, the fruit is the best it has ever been.
Strawberries are very low in calories and their main component, after water, is carbohydrates (with moderate amounts, around 5% of its weight), essentially fructose and glucose.
One handful of strawberries (around 9 strawberries) gives you (approximate value): *
• Less than 30 calories
• They have only 0.1 g of fat and no cholesterol
• Less than 10 g of carbohydrates
• Good source of vitamin C
• 20% of the recommended daily intake of folic acid
• High in fibre
(*Source McCance and Widdowson's "The Composition of Foods", sixth edition).
They are very rich in vitamin C and folic acid. They also contain minerals such as iron, calcium and iodine, as well as phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. They are a good source of fiber. Strawberries provide a range of organic acids including particularly citric, malic, oxalic and acid, and small quantities of salicylic acid. The strawberry's color comes from plant pigments (flavonoids) known as antocyanins, which act as powerful antioxidants (neutralizing free radicals).
The color is caused by plant pigments (flavonoids) known as antocyanins, which act as powerful antioxidants. In fact strawberries are one of the fruits with the highest antioxidant levels.
Production / Processing method
The most commonly grown strawberry cultivar in Spain is the Camarosa. In the province of Huelva this variety occupies 60% of the area dedicated to strawberry production. This is due to its greater productivity, precocity, quality and adaptation to the agricultural and climatic conditions in Huelva. It bears large fruits and is very precocious, and has a bright red color, brightly colored interior and excellent taste and firmness. Other varieties grown –although less extensively– are Tudla, Cartuno, Oso Grande and Carisma.
The main cultivation area for strawberries in Spain is concentrated in the province of Huelva (Andalusia).
The ideal soil and climate conditions and the supply of good-quality water in the southern part of Huelva have led to a boom in this type of crop. This fact, plus a high degree of technification, distribution structures and commercial dynamism, has transformed the strawberry into the province's main crop.
Encouraged by the light sandy soil and warm Spanish climate, strawberries can be grown high up on ridges. Their roots are then warmed by the sun to produce healthy and delicious fresh fruit. Huelva’s Mediterranean climate is ideal for its cultivation.
The province has a subtropical Mediterranean climate, classified as warm and temperate, more continental towards the north and with maritime influences along the coast. The average annual temperature is 18°C / 64.4ºF and the monthly averages range from between 25°C / 77ºF for the hottest month and 11°C / 51.8º F for the coldest. Minimum temperatures rarely fall below 0ºC / 32ºF, thereby guaranteeing an almost total absence of frosts. Huelva has over 3,000 hours of sunlight a year, which makes it, together with Almería, the province with the highest rate of annual insolation on the Spanish Peninsula.
Strawberries are one of the fruits with the highest antioxidant levels.