The Ark of Taste: Ribera Wild Strawberries
This week, Dan Saladino reports on “the caviar of Ribera” – small, highly concentrated alpine strawberries now grown in Sicily having migrated south in the pockets of soldiers after the Second World War. By the 1960s, production of the strawberries increased to 200 hectares and though harvesting was a local family affair, the fruit soon became known across Sicilian culture as the flavour behind some of the country’s most cherished granitas and ice-creams. However, the wider decline of farming in Southern Italy, coupled with rogue wholesalers labelling cheap imports as Ribera strawberries has meant that today just 15 hectares remain. But Antonino Tornambe is fighting to keep this strawberry in production, turning this flavoursome fruit into a preserve which is encouraging more young farmers across southern Sicily to start growing more Ribera strawberries.