The 600 strawberry varieties found today stem from five or six original wild species and are a member of the rose family. Sample different varieties at your local farmers market. You’ll be surprised how different they are in shape, color, and taste. Typically, the larger the berry, the more water it contains; the smaller the berry, the greater the intensity of flavor. For the most local of treats, nothing beats the flavor of strawberries picked fresh from your garden.
Albions have a darker fruit color, both internally and externally, and a consistently sweeter flavor than most strawberries.
Allstars are generally paler—a bit less red-red—than other varieties. They grow big and firm, though, and have plenty of sweetness and juice. They are the kind of berries that are particularly great for slicing into salads.
Alpine Strawberries (fraises des bois) are the tiny and exquisitely sweet wild strawberry of France. They are sometimes labeled "mignonette." These little jewels aren't much larger than a small fingernail but are gigantic on flavor.
Aromas have large, firm fruit has great flavor, with good color and a bright sheen.
Camino Real Strawberries have a firm, dark red fruit with a long shelf life and good flavor.
Diamante Strawberries are large, flavorful, firm fruits with a bright red sheen.
Earliglow Strawberries are early producing, medium-sized strawberries with fantastic flavor.
They are considered the best flavored of all the widely grown commercial varieties and are prolific even in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and Midwest.
Everbearer Strawberries are large and bright scarlet red, have firm flesh, plenty of juice, and a delightfully sweet flavor.
Fragaria virginiana (American wild strawberry) are small, juicy, delicious red strawberries that are much richer in flavor than the commercial varieties found in stores today.
Garden Strawberries are the most common U.S. variety. They are large berries that can stand up to less than ideal growing conditions and have a recognized traditional strawberry flavor.
Hood Strawberries hail from that nirvana of all things berry: Oregon. They have a short season - just a few weeks. Catch them if you can.
Rosa Linda Strawberries are a medium-sized berry with a bright red color all the way through the fruit. Its flavor is full-bodied and aromatic.
Seascapes are bright red and perfectly "strawberry" shaped. They aren't super-duper sweet and so work well in dishes where you need to add additional sugar anyway - jam anyone?
Sweet Charlies are orange-red on the outside and orange streaked with white in the inside with a distinctly sweet flavor due to a high sugar-to-acid ratio.
Ventana Strawberries are bright red fruit, slightly lighter in color, a good flavor, standard shape, and large size with excellent fruit quality.