Strawberries belong to the Fragaria genus. The cultivated varieties that many are familiar with are usually hybrids, primarily the garden strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa). These are larger and often more uniform in size. In contrast, Alberta's wild strawberry, Fragaria virginiana, is smaller but boasts a concentrated, aromatic flavour. Both types thrive in the temperate climate of Alberta, with farmed strawberries often benefiting from protective measures against frost, while wild strawberries are hardy and resilient, commonly found in forests and along trails.


Strawberries have been savoured for centuries, and their introduction to Alberta is intertwined with both Indigenous traditions and European colonization. Indigenous nations have long foraged wild strawberries, using them in a myriad of ways, from fresh consumption to preservation, and they also have great spiritual significance. With the arrival of European settlers, the cultivation of larger strawberry varieties began. Over time, Alberta has seen an increase in strawberry farms, catering to local demand for this delicious fruit. These farms often become family destinations, with many offering "pick-your-own" experiences, cementing strawberries' role in Alberta's summer traditions.

Ways To Cook

Strawberries, both farmed and wild, have a vast range of culinary applications in Alberta. Consumed fresh, their sweetness shines, often complemented by a dollop of cream or a sprinkle of sugar. They're a popular choice for jams and jellies, where even a small batch of wild strawberries can produce an intensely flavoured spread. Strawberries are also a favourite in baked goods, from pies to muffins, with the fruit's natural juices providing moisture and taste. Wild strawberries, given their potent flavor, are sometimes infused in spirits or syrups, offering a taste of Alberta's wilderness in every sip. Salads, especially those with a mix of savoury and sweet components, benefit from the addition of strawberries, as their freshness can balance richer ingredients.

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