IT’S NEARLY CHRISTMAS IN THE foggy Nahuelbuta Range of south-central Chile and berries the size and color of ping-pong balls are ripening in small gardens that tumble down steep forested slopes. The dwindling number of aging farmers who still cultivate these frutillas blancas have just five weeks to comb these gardens and harvest their goods. Five weeks to make a year’s worth of profit.
In that brief time, these white strawberries—which turn a pale pink when ripe—will have two local festivals in their honor. There will be white strawberry cooking competitions, beauty queen contests, and nightly folk music. The fragrant fruits, which have a pineapple-like fragrance, will find their way into custardy kuchen cakes, preserves, and, most importantly, clery, a sangria-like aperitif made with white wine. The drink will become a staple at every gathering between Christmas and New Year in this tiny enclave—the only place in the world that still cultivates these berries at scale… (continue reading at Atlas Obscura).