You know summer has really arrived in New Zealand when the strawberries come out.
The strawberry harvest builds in the weeks leading to Christmas and you’ll find punnets selling everywhere from supermarkets to streetside stalls.
Prices will shoot up and down as supply and demand kicks in but Kiwis will make sure there’s plenty of strawberries on the table.
Leading supermarket chain Countdown estimates the number of strawberries they sell in the lead-up to Christmas Day would fill 67 rugby fields if they were laid out flat. They easily become the most sold summer fruit, knocking the banana from its mantle of being New Zealand’s most popular fruit over the rest of the year.
The strawberries are a vital ingredient for the traditional summer dessert of pavlova.
Countdown estimates if all the pre-made pavlovas sold were stacked vertically, they would reach 31 times higher than Auckland’s Sky Tower or three times higher than New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook.
“Our love affair with strawberries at this time of year is partly because of their versatility across the Christmas menu, whether that’s fruit salad, a plain fresh strawberry after a heavy meal, chocolate dipped for dessert, as part of a cheese platter, at the bottom of a champagne glass and of course on top of the long-standing Christmas favourite, pavlova with cream.” — Countdown’s General Manager Merchandise Chris Fisher.
Source: Countdown, December 2016.