At 289 grams, the strawberry was about five times the average weight of a regular berry of the local Ilan variety, said Dr Nir Dai, a researcher at Israel’s Volcani Institute in Bet-Dagan, near Tel-Aviv, where the strain was developed.
This strawberry was grown by Chahi Ariel’s family business “Strawberries in the Field”, located in the Kadima-Zoran region of central Israel.
The fruit, which has been confirmed as the world’s heaviest strawberry, was 18 cm long, 4 cm thick and 34 cm in circumference.
Mr Ariel had been hoping he would be crowned the winner when he saw how big the fruit was growing on his family farm last year.
He has been waiting for confirmation it was a record while keeping the giant strawberry in the freezer as proof.
“When we heard, it was an amazing feeling. I jumped in the car, laughed and sang,” said Mr Chahi said, proudly displaying his certificate on a laptop. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”
Mr Chahi weighed his prize-winning strawberry alongside an iPhone XR which weighs 194 grams – almost 100 grams less than the massive strawberry.
The Ilan variety of strawberry was originally bred by Dr Dai and is known for producing large fruits.
“During this strawberry season in late January and early February it was particularly cold,” explained Dr Dai, who was one of the witnesses during the strawberry’s weigh-in.
“The strawberry developed slowly for more than 45 days from flowering which caused its large size at full ripening stage.”
The cold weather conditions led to a bumper crop of strawberries for Mr Chahi’s fruit farm, producing not just one, but four sizable strawberries.
The previous record for world’s heaviest strawberry was 250 grams. The berry was grown by Japanese farmer Koji Nakao claiming the record in 2015. The strawberry was a Japanese variety called Amaou.
Additional reporting by agencies