The precursors of modern strawberries came from both North America and South America. Explorers brought an early version of the strawberry from the Virginia area of North America to France in the 1500s, while another Frenchman spotted a different form of strawberry in what is now Chile in the 1700s.
French horticulturists planted the two plants beside each other, which created a hybrid of the two plants. This hybridization developed into the large, juicy, tart, red fruits that are now grown in nearly every region of the world. The U.S. is the top global producer of strawberries, supplying the world with approximately 20 percent of the fruit each year.