Cameron Highlands is the center of strawberry production in Malaysia - along with tea plantations and vegetable markets, strawberries are an iconic part of the landscape comprising this resort destination. The cold climate makes it suitable for cultivating strawberries all year round throughout the highlands, with most farms concentrated at Tanah Rata, Brinchang and Kea Farm.
When in season, many of these farms offer strawberry picking by hand to attract visitors. The popularity of this dainty fruit has also spun a bustling cottage industry that churns out souvenirs, pillows, clothing, keychains, toys and other merchandise in the shape and theme of strawberries.
In local cafes and restaurants, it is a trend to incorporate strawberries in the menu, whether as ingredients for a dish or a choice of flavour in pies, cakes, ice cream, waffles, chocolate and drinks. As the fruit does not keep for long, stock that goes unsold at farms and markets is processed into jams, pickles, biscuits and other treats for sale as dry goods.
As the strawberry plant grows ideally in cold but dry conditions, the best time to enjoy fresh strawberries is from May till August - months with the least rainfall. In Cameron Highlands, strawberries are grown by hydroponic method in greenhouses to allow for high volume and quick production rates. The plants are placed in soil bags or pots and stacked on racks, the greenhouses keeping them dry.