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Sweet success

Israeli strawberry wins Guinness record as world’s largest

Organization confirms that 289-gram fruit grown at Ariel family plantation is the heaviest ever recorded

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Chahi Ariel and the record-breaking strawberry (Guinness World Records)
Chahi Ariel and the record-breaking strawberry (Guinness World Records)

A giant strawberry grown in Israel and weighing 289 grams (10.19 ounces) has been confirmed as setting a new Guinness World Record as the heaviest ever, the top feat-tracking organization said in a statement Tuesday.

The bulging fruit was discovered on the Strawberries in the Field plantation run by the Ariel family in the agricultural community Kadima-Zoran, in the central district of Israel.

It was 18 centimeters (seven inches) long, four centimeters thick, and a whopping 34 centimeters in circumference, according to the statement.

The strawberry is of the Ilan variety, which was originally bred by Nir Dai at Israel’s Agricultural Research Organization and is known for producing large berries.

Dai himself was on hand to witness the weighing of the strawberry and said that this year the strawberry season has been late due to cold weather, enabling the multiple berries to grow together into one large fruit.

“The strawberry developed slowly for more than 45 days from flowering, which caused its large size at full ripening stage,” he said.

Screen capture from video of a strawberry grown in Israel and confirmed as the heaviest ever by the Guinness World Records group, February 15, 2022. (YouTube)

The Ariel family, a father and his four sons, in fact grew four oversized strawberries this year, but only one of them beat the previous 250-gram recordholder, which was weighed in Fukuoka, Japan, on January 28, 2015, according to the statement.

Speaking to the Ynet news site on Monday, the Ariel brothers said they discovered the record-breaker on Friday. They said it was the largest they remembered in over four decades of growing the fruit.

Farmers collect strawberries at Chahi Ariel’s farm where a 289 gram (over half a pound) strawberry was grown in Kadima-Zoran, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. The Guinness Book of World Records this week declared the titanic berry the largest on record.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

They checked the Guinness book of world records and found that they had a new contender for the title of largest strawberry.

On Saturday night they filed a claim with the Guinness website and the following day brought in a notary to witness a formal weighing before the fruit began to decay and lose its size.

The brothers made a short video clip of the weighing, in which they compared the strawberry to an iPhone XR that was barely half the weight.

“It is an amazing feeling,” Yedid Ariel told Ynet. “We are getting a lot of praise from the community, everyone is cheering. It is local pride.”

Ariel did not say what would be done with the prize fruit, or, if it had been sampled, what it tasted like.

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