With Wimbledon 2022 on the TV, it can only mean one thing - the great British summer has officially arrived.
As well as a time of great tennis, it’s also a season when you can indulge in classic summer favourites like strawberries and cream or Pimm’s.
It’s the best time of the year to eat strawberries in particular as the summer months are when the UK produces much of the fruit you see on supermarket shelves.
So when does strawberry season run until - and how much nutrition is packed into each piece of fruit?
Here’s everything you need to know.
When are UK strawberries in season?
You can buy British strawberries between April and October every year.
Until the 1990s, the strawberry season lasted for just a matter of weeks at the peak of summer.
However, thanks to advances in technology - for example, better glasshouses and growing techniques - the season lasts for more than 6 months a year.
In fact, the UK is entirely self-sufficient in strawberries between May and October.
Outside of this period, the fruit you see in supermarkets comes from Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Israel.
As a rule of thumb, locally produced strawberries are likely to be fresher than those produced abroad.
If you want to know where the pack of strawberries you’re buying in the supermarket comes from, there is usually a label on the pack that will tell you.
If it’s a UK grower, you will sometimes be able to see where the berry was grown and by whom.
How good is the 2022 strawberry crop?
Being the UK, the weather can change at the drop of a hat.
The intensity of temperatures, how sunny or gloomy it is and the timing of these climatic changes can all have a major bearing on when crops become available to consumers, how much fruit is produced and how good it is.
According to British Berry Growers, the trade organisation representing berry farmers, the 2022 strawberry crop is sweeter than the fruit produced in 2021.
This is because there were 166 hours of sunshine in April - a key month for growing strawberries.
The Met Office says this amount of sunshine was 7% above average for the month.
“We have enjoyed bright days this spring coupled with cool nights which allows strawberry plants to rest well and put their energy gained during the day into producing high natural sugars overnight,” said Rupert Carter, technical director at Kent-based WB Chambers Farms.
“This process makes the berries sweeter and is one of the main reasons for such good tasting fruit.”
Brighter weather also meant British-grown strawberries were available in May, compared to June in 2021.
How many calories do strawberries contain?
Given how sweet they can be, you may be concerned that gobbling up strawberries might not be great for your waistline.
However, they are not as calorific as you might think.
An average strawberry contains 22 calories and 4.8 grams of sugar, as well as vital nutrients.
Eating seven strawberries a day will provide you with your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C.
They also contain Vitamin K, manganese, folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, Vitamins B5 and B6, copper, magnesium, fibre and phytonutrients.