Most flavorful strawberry?

The last time I bought strawberry plants, the cultivar with a reputation as the most flavorful was ‘Mara des Bois’ from France. I bought it and was very happy with it. I gave some to a foodie friend who usually scorns any strawberry less flavorful than an alpine, and he declared that he would rip out his bed of alpine strawberries and replace them with these.

Then I moved, (and my strawberry beds were replaced with lawn, alas). Now I’m ready to buy new strawberry plants. Is ‘Mara des Bois’ still the most flavorful, or has something even better come along?


I like Mara des Bois a lot, I have grown it a few years, but in general I like June bearing better. Deep, and rich in flavor. I would take a large Jewel strawberry over MdB. MdB is still great and none except a pineberry can compete with it’s aroma. The taste is excellent for sure, but many strawberries are just as good or better in taste. At least for me. So my trials are of June bearing types to find what works best here.
MdB when left to ripen all the way has an alpine-like taste, but alpines have more, and so I would disagree with your friend. I grow them too as nothing tastes like them. MdB is close, but weak in alpine flavor compared to an alpine.
I’m adding to my alpines this year. What’s great about them is a plant can be very old and still be productive. MdB and other everbearing types will lose productivity, as a matter of fact out of all strawberries everbearing are the quickest to become unproductive. Not really a problem, they produce plenty of runners to replace older plants.

For me strawberries are way to diverse to settle on one flavor profile. June bearing do not taste like MdB, but have their own special flavor, well can with the right cultivar.
I have not even mentioned Musk Strawberries I forgot they are very aromatic as well. The flavor makes alpines taste weak and watered down. Way too hard to grow, I’m getting rid of most of mine. Also small.
Of course pineberries talk about a flavor profile like no other, that’s for sure. And variance of taste between the cultivars. I found White D to be the best for me, big, smells like pineapples. I made a batch of preserves and the pineapple/strawberry aroma was overwhelming the kitchen.


I got the day off today and went to the UPick Strawberry farm. They got 2 varieties called AllStar and Kent. I ate a belly full of nicely ripened strawberries and bought 10 lbs home. They both very sweet and tasty not liked the store bought. The owner was very nice and gave me 8 runners to start my own little patch.



Wow those look good. Those are older cultivars, A reason they are still around.

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I grow Mara, as well as the June bearing Earliglow and Jewel. I’m going to have to disagree with Drew. The June bearing are great, but a good ripe Mara is better. Part of it is definitely the fragrance. Mara also seems a go from tart to sweet a little later in the ripening cycle than the others I grow, so when you are racing against birds, chiprmunks and slugs to get your berries, it can be hard to let Mara reach her potential. But of course taste is definitely personal, so you may like something else entirely.

I have a pot each of a German cultivar, a Russian cultivar, Delmarvel and the old variety Fairfax - all from the USDA. I’m interested to see how these fair.

I’ll also second Drew’s assessment about Mara (and the other non-June types as well I guess) wearing out faster, so you’ll need to work at refreshing the bed with runners or you’ll have less and smaller fruit.

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What!?! ::slight_smile:

Hey they are top rate no doubt. No berry is perfect. Because Mara is so good I tried Gariguette. I need a full year, only had a few. I agree Mara is special, such a complex flavor. When fully ripe it has a slight alpine flavor. This defines richness of flavor. A complex flavor with a start and a finish. Not mono tonal in flavor. The plant grows well too and it’s easy to replace with runners. I do it with sections replaced each year. I try to anyway.
Strawberries have escaped all over my garden. They are like cute puppies, how can you pull that out? :strawberry:

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Just done baking the strawberry pie with home grown rubarbs and about to making strawberry jams.


earliglow and sparkle are my current favorites but i put in AC wendy, wonderfull pineberry, mara des bois and 4 cultivars of alpines i grew from seed. I’m sure my opinions will change! :wink:

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Well that was sure nice of them to give you runners, what a friendly gesture.

I put in Kent, Cabot, and Malwina. I had MdB but I pulled them out and gave them to my DIL. I only have enough energy for one strawberry bed and I prefer the June bearing, mostly because I want my strawberries all at once for jam, jelly and freezing for winter.

The best flavour is our wild strawberries but they are so small that it takes many for a cup full. As a child I remember thinking that my aunts visiting from Germany must have had patience to burn. They picked 6 cups and I still remember the wonderful flavour of a whole spoonful of these delectable morsels.


when we were kids, my parents would pack a lunch and we would go out picking wild strawberries. the taste was unbeatable! we also used to pick wild raspberries , blueberries, hazelnuts and beechnut. my brothers and i had a stand we used to sell hazelnuts a $1 a glass. my mother would always make a pie with the berries, then freeze the rest for later to make jams. was a lot of work but it brings back great memories.


Alpines are by far my kids’ favorite. It doesn’t matter how many I pick. They all disappear the instant they realize I picked some. Mara des Bois is tasty and nicely fragrant, if I can pick it at the right ripeness. I have a hard time beating critters and bugs to them, so I usually have to pick them a little before they hit peak flavor and sweetness. My current favorites are June-bearing: Purple Wonder and Scarlet. The marketing hype actually bore some resemblance to reality with those two. Purple Wonder develops a very tasty deep flavor when it ripens to the dark maroon stage. Scarlet develops aromatic almost tropical fruity notes which I and my kids love. The thing I’m not fond about them is that they runner like crazy (I guess like most strawberries), and I never have a chance to properly thin my beds to avoid overcrowding and getting small berries.