AUSTIN, TX – I’ve wanted to try Oishii strawberries for quite some time. They first launched as a specialty item available only in New York a couple of years ago.
After investments from Mirai Creation Fund II, Oishii built what it says is the world’s largest vertical farm in New Jersey in 2022.
From the company’s website:
Oishii was started with the goal of introducing Japanese fruit culture to the US. Traditionally in Japan, fresh, clean, delicious fruit means there is a special occasion to celebrate. Both the Omakase Berry and the Koyo Berry have made this goal come to life. Through visionary innovation and new-wave techniques, we’ve reinvented the capabilities of traditional agriculture.
The name Omakase Berry comes from the traditional dining philosophy of Omakase, “I leave it up to you,” where a diner entrusts a chef to serve them something great. The refreshing, bright Koyo Berry means “elated” in Japanese. It’s a smile with every bite.
So, when H-E-B’s Central Market BB #:106490 promoted them on social media, I sent my husband to get some.
He didn’t find them, so a friend and I went the next day, and spotted them immediately. (I’ll spare you a joke about how moms and wives can find things where husbands can’t…)
I picked up two packages, which were marked at $19.99 each. That’s cheaper than the original $50 price tag when the berries first launched.
And then, at the checkout, the cashier warned me that the berries I had picked up were $15 each, I almost went back for a third.
We were originally going to enjoy them in a car picnic in the driveway, but decided to do it right and let them come up to temperature.
The first bite didn’t totally wow me, but we liked them more and more as we slowed down to enjoy the experience. Pairing with a bubbly white wine really enhanced the flavor (and our commentary, I think…) I posted two separate TikToks as we mowed through $30 worth of strawberries.
My friend pointed out that the inside was very soft – like one of those ultra-ripe local strawberries that people reminisce about – but the exterior was firm enough to maintain the structure.
The color isn’t a deep red, but the aroma was amazing.
Were they the best berries I’ve ever eaten? Not quite. I’ve had some amazing strawberries in my time. But they were definitely a worthy experience.