These Japanese “Omakase Strawberries” are said to be possibly the sweetest in the world.
Omakase strawberries are three times sweeter than their standard American counterparts. In fact, top chefs at Michelin-starred restaurants, including Atomix and Sushi Ginza Onodera, love them.
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Once known as the $50-per-box deluxe berries, Oishii has now dropped its price to $20 per pack (available at Whole Foods). At $2.50 a bay, you’re paying for a cross-cultural experience.
When Oishii co-founder and CEO Hiroki Koga moved from Japan to the United States, he noticed the difference in product quality. To bring a taste of her culture to her new home, Koga founded Oishii. The company operates the largest indoor vertical farm in the world, growing the coveted Omakase strawberries.
Koga spoke with In The Know about the innovative vertical farm technology to make Omakase strawberries accessible.
“Omakase means ‘I’ll leave it to the chief.’ The chef is going to use whatever is at its peak during this season,” Koga told In The Know. “We call our berries Omakase Berries because our strawberries are always in season 365 days a year.”
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What makes Omakase strawberries different is their genetics, for starters.
“These are very special Japanese variety strawberries that have been optimized for sweetness,” he says. “While many strawberries grown outside of Japan are more optimized for yield and long-distance transportation.”
Another difference is Oishii’s pioneering vertical cultivation system, which allows the company to control the environment of its berries throughout the year.
“Vertical farming is a technology where you grow vegetables and fruits in a completely sunless environment. And instead of the sun, you would use LED lights,” says Koga. “The beauty of the technology is that you can produce these fruits anywhere in the world without being affected by outside weather conditions.”
Quality control of the berries is essential for the company, which has numerous protocols to ensure that each strawberry is worth its price. It is therefore not surprising that the best chefs in the culinary world are fans of it. But in the end, what matters is the taste.
“Our berries are known to have an exceptional aroma,” says Koga. “In most cases, we have two to three times the sweetness in our berries compared to what you’re used to eating.”
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The post Oishii brings the world’s sweetest ‘Omakase strawberries’ from Japan to the United States appeared first on In The Know.
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