Based in Karatsu, Japan, Yasuhito Teshima is the only known grower of the “White Jewel,” a unique type of white strawberry. While the rare fruit might sound foreign to many, Japan is actually known for its large market of this unique produce. From native plants like the Akebi or Hyuganatsu, to strange twists on common favorite fruits, like cubic watermelons and white strawberries, Japan has definitely earned its well-deserved reputation for cool fruit.
Teshima has been the only person growing White Jewels for the last 4 years, perhaps because he’s the only man in the world with enough patience for farming them. The White Jewel is an extra large and extra white variety of white strawberry, and due to their delicate nature, they can’t grow in very large quantities. Teshima explains that the whiter the strawberries are, the easier it is to see scratches, bruises, and other blemishes. Because of this fragility, Teshima only sells about 10% of what he grows, and this is why they are so expensive.
One pack of Teshima’s White Jewels costs about $40, yet many pay this price for the experience of indulging in this rare, sweet treat. The White Jewels Teshima grows are well balanced in color, shape, and size. He describes the flavor of his specialty fruit as sweet, deep, mysterious, and really, really tasty. Growing these has helped Teshima unveil tastes, aromas, and shapes he never expected. In fact, Teshima’s ultimate goal is for his White Jewels to taste like an entirely different fruit from the strawberry, and he has pledged to keep trying until his goal is reached. Best of luck to Teshima and his berry cool work!