The pineberries, a white strawberries with a distinctive tropical flavour reminiscent of pineapple, will be the hit fruit of the season.
It is most definitely not a genetically modified plant. Pineberries are actually the oldest strawberry variety, but they are a modern hybrid.
They have been growing wild and in organic cultivation in an area within Chile called the Mananal, which is a sheltered mountain range region overlooking the ocean.
They grow in this region during winter. They are sold directly by the farmers at local markets and trade fairs.
In 2003 Dutch farmers bred white strawberries from Southern Europe with red berry cultivars to create a hardy, prolific white hybrid.
In 2010 the pineberry was introduced on April 1st in the United Kingdom. Many media thought it was an April fools’ joke and believed the pineberry did not exist.
However when it turned out the introduction of the pineberry was for real, this special strawberry got a lot of media attention.
Pineberries vs. Strawberries
Pineberries are much smaller than the strawberries we are used to see today, measuring between 15 to 23 mm. This spreading plant reaches 8 to 12 inches high and spreads by runners up to 18 inches wide.
Pinebberies are distinguished by their white to ivory skin with pale hues of blushing pink and studs of red seeds throughout.
What makes the pineberry appearance so distinct is their white flesh which is studded with red seeds. The aroma and flavour of pineberries never disappoints – the striking berries have a pineapple flavour.
Other aromatic compositions include notes of cloves, caramel and green leaves. Their texture remains true to the nature of strawberries, with a soft, juicy flesh with a melting quality.
The plant is disease resistant, but is not very profitable, due to small-scale farming, small berry size and low yield crop.
Pineberries can be used in exactly the same way as other strawberry varieties. This is the berry you will want to build a dessert around or feature in a salad.