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Big is beautiful

- but not always tasty

The history of strawberry is the story about increasing quantity and reduced quality.

Not all of the old strawberry cultivars were delicious, but some was, and they represented a broader variety of taste, form and color than do the few and homogene cultivars which dominate the market nowadays.
This page is a virtual taste sample of some old Danish cultivars which earlier was highly praised by Danish strawberry entusiasts. They often prove useless for commercial production and sale, but they are unsurpassable for home growing.

J.A. Dybdahl - more famous than any other Danish cultivar !
J. A. Dybdahl was introduced by gardener H.H. Larsen from Refslund near Århus i 1909 and was dearly beloved by Danish strawberry growers in half a century. The Dybdahl strawberry has large comblike berries. The berries are bright red and has lost popularity, because mainstream consumers prefer dark red strawberries. Dybdahl has a very mild and aromatic flavour and a very nice scent; today nearly 90 years after the introduction J.A. Dybdahl still has a few faithful friends among Danish gardeners.

Alpine strawberries
Before the large-fruited strawberries were introduced in Europe, a cultivar of the wild European Wood-strawberry was grown. These "Alpine strawberries" have no runners and the berries are twice as big as the wild Wood-strawberries, but still they have the distinctive and aromatic flavour of the wild strawberries. Alpine strawberries are oblong and tapering, varieties with red fruits as well as varieties with white or yellow fruits are known.


Red Pine - White Pine

The first largefruited strawberries, which arrived to Europe were compared with pineapples, and named Late Pine, White Pine, Red Pine, etc.
The fruits were very soft and delicate, but also extremely sweet. The colors were much brighter than that of the new cultivars. Skincolor would be bright red with pink-white flesh, other cultivars had delicate pink almost white skincolor and white flesh.

In the old days it was common to distinguish between strawberries for preserves and berries for dessert, the later came from cultivars with a more delicate, sweet and aromatic flavour. When Abundance was introduced by Carl Jensen in 1884 everybody realised that this was a preserve-berry with a "simple and sour taste". Anyway - compared with the taste of many new cultivars, Abundance has a nice taste.

Königin Luise
Königin Luise was also called "The Strawberry Queen" in Denmark. "She" was popular for many years, and nearly as famous as Dybdahl. "Her" advantage is shining coralred berries, very aromatic and more sweet than Dybdahl. Furthermore Kønigin Louise is less sensitive to both drought and moisture than many other cultivars.

Click on the Dybdahl berry to get further in cyberspace

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© Center for Bio-diversitet.

This page was last revised August 1996.

The objective of the Center for Bio-diversitet is to support biological diversity and the survival of old and new varieties of domesticated animals and plants with valueable characteristics

The Homepages of the centre is edited by Heine Refsing