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Swedes pay $27 for 'bargain strawberries'

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10:31 CEST+02:00
The year's first batch of Swedish strawberries went under the hammer in Stockholm on Wednesday, with growers fetching 175 kronor ($27) per punnet. But the price was nothing compared to last year.
 
Almost 150 punnets of strawberries were sold on Wednesday to mark the first harvest of the season, with each 250-gramme punnet pulling in 175 kronor ($27).
 
Pablo de Bonadona, the purchase manager at fruit and veg supplier Svenska Odlarlaget, said the berries were worth every krona.
 
"Yes, it's a lot of money, but Swedish strawberries are worth it. We love them. And the first are always a little special," he told The Local.
 
The supplier will sell off the strawberries to local schools and kindergartens for just 25 kronor a punnet, a change from the high-end restaurants that usually get their knives and forks into the delicacy first. 
 
But a high supply this year saw lower prices all round in 2014.
 
"Last year the first lot went for 750 kronor ($116) a punnet. We got a bargain this year," de Bonadona said with a laugh.
 
He added that Swedish strawberries were worth the long winter wait.
 
"It's a tradition to eat them all summer long. And they have such a distinct taste because of the climate in southern Sweden. It gets colder at night so the strawberry protects itself, giving it such a deep red colour and a much sweeter taste. We think they're the best in the world - it's something of a national pride."

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When asked if strawberries were the best produce grown in Sweden, the supplier could only chuckle.
 
"Well, it's either strawberries or potatoes and I certainly know which I prefer."
 

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