It seems that the tiny strawberries grown in this area near Agrigento are descended from plants brought to Sicily by veterans returning from the Great War. Sicilian soldiers must have collected wild plants from the undergrowth of some Alpine forest, then planted them in the fertile Sicilian soil.
The wild strawberries survived and acclimatized well, evolving into a local ecotype that has spread around the Verdura Valley: aromatic and highly scented, the tiny spherical berries are bright red in color.
The Ribera wild strawberries have a relatively brief harvest season and can only be found fresh on the local market.
The strawberries are picked from early April until the end of May.
The recent competition from remontant strawberries has practically wiped out the concept of early produce and reduced the plots of Ribera and Sciacca strawberries from 200 hectares in the 1970s to just 15 hectares today. The number of growers has also fallen: now, the wild strawberries are just a supplementary crop grown by tiny businesses who employ only family members.
The Presidium wants to raise the profile of this delicate and fragrant strawberry, including through the promotion of ice cream and jams made from the fruit.
La dea del profumo, Sciacca (Ag), Via Turati 24, Tel. +39 327 9381030, firstname.lastname@example.org
Matteo Chiarello, Sciacca (Ag), Via De Gasperi 59, Tel. +39 339 4025851
Ludovico Ciaccio, Menfi (Ag), Contrada Bertolino, Tel. +39 328 6829806, email@example.com
Bartolo Maniscalco, Caltabellotta (Ag), Contrada Piano Monaco, Tel. +39 333 2999955, firstname.lastname@example.org
Saverio Dimino, Sciacca (Ag), Contrada Guardabasso 113, Tel. +39 347 6467481, email@example.com
Lorenzo Verderame, Sciacca (Ag), Contrada Scunchipani, Tel. +39 347 6032178, firstname.lastname@example.org