Rutgers Researchers Develop a Better Strawberry
There's a new strawberry in town - well, in 13 towns - and it's said to deliver a better flavor to the taste buds than the strawberries New Jerseyans have been used to for years.
A product of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, the Rutgers Scarlet strawberry had been 10 years in the making, and people are finally starting to get their hands on it.
Researcher Pete Nitzsche said farmers in New Jersey, for years, have been growing strawberries meant to withstand lengthy shipments and the California climate.
"They had a decent taste, but not the best," Nitzsche said.
But the development of this newer strawberry had two main focuses - taste great, and encourage more people to buy local.
"It will actually be sweeter, but it will have a good sweet-acid balance to it," said fellow researcher Bill Hlubik. "The volatiles, which give it its flavor, are exceptional."
Hlubik claimed the Scarlet strawberry has been leading the way in both formal and informal taste tests.
The team arrived at the final product after multiple breeding attempts, crossing the characteristics of different plants until the stars aligned perfectly. The Scarlet may be the first in a series; the team is currently working on other varieties at the research farm.
Its release to the public is in the beginning stages. Thirteen farms in New Jersey are growing the new plant, and limited quantities are available. The strawberries are also expected to be for sale during an open house on Aug. 15 at the EARTH Center in South Brunswick.
New Jersey farms with Rutgers Scarlet strawberries (limited quantities available):
- Alstede Farms, Chester Borough, NJ
- Cecil Creek Farm, Mickleton, NJ
- Chickadee Creek, Pennington, NJ
- Donaldson Farms, Hackettstown, NJ
- Fernbrook Farms, Chesterfield, NJ
- Giamarese Farm, East Brunswick, NJ
- Grasso Girls Farm Market, Mullica Hill, NJ
- Hauser Hill Farm, Old Bridge, NJ
- Hlubik Farms, Chesterfield, NJ
- Muth Farm, Williamstown, NJ
- Specca Farms, Springfield, NJ
- Terhune Orchards, Princeton, NJ
- Von Thun Farm, Monmouth Junction, NJ