You might have seen this new type of berry popping up in your grocery store over the last few years…
Pineberries are not a new import from a foreign country – they are an entirely new type of berry that is sweeping across grocery stores.
What Are Pineberries?
Pineberries, also called winter frost pineberries and white strawberries, are a new cultivar of the strawberry plant, characterized by smaller berries that are white or light pink on the outside, with red seeds.
Pineberries are a naturally occurring crossbreed of the Chilean beach strawberry with the Virginia strawberry. The result is not only visually shocking with its white skin and bright red seeds but flavorful as well.
If the fascinating, almost surreal look of pineberries is what draws you to them in the first place, the mild but complex flavor will be what keeps you coming back for more.
Pineberries taste like a mix of dragon fruit, pear, pineapple, and strawberry, while also being creamy in texture and mild in acidity.
Pineberries have some characteristics that differ from strawberries, but they are still like strawberries in many ways.
Their nutritional profile is extremely close to strawberries, and anyone who is allergic to strawberries will be allergic to pineberries since they are essentially the same plant (even if they taste different).
Pineberries are more expensive than strawberries since they are new and eye-catching, with a more subtle and interesting flavor.
What Do Pineberries Look Like?
Pineberries are slightly smaller than strawberries, with a white or light pink exterior and tiny red seeds. Inside, the flesh is the same white or light pink.
They have the same slightly conical shape that strawberries have, with similar greens and stems at the top.
What Texture Do Pineberries Have?
The texture of pineberries is similar to that of strawberries, but it has been described as creamier and more consistent.
Where Do Pineberries Come From?
It is easy to imagine a team of scientists coming up with the idea of creating pineberries for profit, but the truth is that they are a naturally occurring hybrid cross that was only recently discovered.
Pineberries are not genetically modified in any way and do occur in nature.
Pineberries are a hybrid cross between two types of strawberry, Fragaria chiloensis, the Chilean beach strawberry, and Fragaria virginiana, the Virginian wild mountain strawberry.
This cross naturally produced the genetic mix that makes up pineberries, with all of their interesting flavors and textures.
Today, pineberries are cultivated in all the same ways that strawberries are so that they can be shipped to grocery stores, but it’s important to note that they originated in nature, as a happy accident.
Are Pineberries Healthy?
Pineberries have an almost identical nutrition profile to strawberries, even though they have a different appearance and flavor. The question then becomes – are strawberries healthy?
The answer is a resounding yes. Strawberries are incredibly nutrient-dense fruits. Just 8 strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange.
They are a great source of manganese and potassium. They are also packed with polyphenols: anti-oxidants that can reduce inflammation and decrease your risk of major illnesses like heart disease and cancer.
There is no sodium, fat, or cholesterol in strawberries or pineberries, and very few calories despite their sweetness.
All of the nutritional benefits you can get from strawberries are available in pineberries except one. The red color in the skin of strawberries is produced by antioxidant flavonoids called anthocyanins.
Pineberries are missing this crucial pigment, which means that if you choose pineberries over strawberries you will miss out on at least one important antioxidant.
What Are The Dangers Of Eating Pineberries?
You can feel relatively safe eating pineberries. They are safe for most people. However, if you have a strawberry allergy, you should avoid both strawberries and pineberries.
If you eat a lot of strawberries or pineberries at one time, you could give yourself heartburn or a stomachache, but this isn’t common.
How Can I Store Pineberries?
Berries don’t ripen after they are picked, and pineberries can go bad very quickly. It’s important to keep an eye on your pineberries and eat them as soon as possible to avoid spoilage.
You can store pineberries at room temperature for a day or two, or add them to a sealed container in your refrigerator which will keep them fresh for 5-7 days.
Don’t wash your pineberries until you are ready to use them, as the additional moisture can make them go bad faster.
If you want to preserve pineberries longer than this, you are better off freezing them.
Can you Freeze Pineberries?
Yes, you can freeze pineberries! Both strawberries and pineberries freeze relatively well, retaining their flavor and texture for longer than other fruits do.
You can freeze pineberries by adding them to a thick reusable plastic bag with a seal and adding them to your freezer. You can freeze strawberries by cutting them into slices first if that makes it easier for you when you defrost them.
You can keep pineberries in the freezer for 1-3 months.
Can You Grow Pineberries?
Yes! You can grow pineberries anywhere that you would grow strawberries. Pineberry is a vigorous plant that grows quickly and can infringe on its neighbors in the garden, which is one reason why it is recommended to keep pineberry in pots.
Although one gardener found that pineberries did not produce at all in the first year they were added to the garden, they were heavy producers of fruit every year after that.
Moreover, while red strawberries tend to produce a lot of fruit in the first few years and taper off after that, pineberries seem to continue producing for much longer.
If you have the patience and the green thumb to take care of pineberries, you can plant them in pots or your garden and have your own supply of delicious pineberries, grown fresh!
Pineberries vs. Strawberries
Pineberries and strawberries are so closely related that they are practically the same plant. However, there are some important differences.
Visually, strawberries are striking and vibrant red, while pineberries are ghostly pinkish white. This is one of the biggest and most noticeable differences between the two, and the first thing you will notice when you are shopping in the grocery store.
The taste of pineberries is less acidic than strawberries, which can occasionally be stingingly tart. It also contains subtle citrus flavors, pineapple, pear, and even notes of dragonfruit. While strawberries are very sweet, pineberries have a richer and more complex flavor to be savored.
The nutritional differences between pineberries and strawberries are negligible, although strawberries do have at least one antioxidant that pineberries don’t: the bright red skin and flesh of strawberries are caused by flavonoids called anthocyanins, which are absent in pineberries.
Pineberries are a newer crop, with an interesting flavor, which is why they are typically more expensive than strawberries at the grocery store.
Pineberry Nutritional Information
|per 100g pineberry, according to berriespride
|Saturated Fatty Acids
Quick Table: 3 Pineberries Taste Recipes
|Pineberry Bruschetta With Cream Cheese And Goat Cheese
|Pineberry Strawberry Cheesecake
|Pineberry Vodka Cocktail
This rich appetizer could just as easily be a dessert, with sweet Florida honey, and rich and flavorful cream cheese and goat cheese.
The taste of pineberry on top really comes through in this recipe, making the best of the tropical fruit and citrus notes in the pineberries, which are supported by the rich and fatty cheeses, and the sweet honey.
This is easy to make, but comes across as very fancy and could just as easily be served at a dinner party as an after-school snack.
Calories Per Serving: 170
Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
Strawberry cheesecake has to be one of the best ways to enjoy the flavor of strawberries. The sweet, fruity flavor combined with the rich velvety cheesecake is a perfect combination.
With this recipe, you can put pineberries into the same role and savor an entirely new mix of flavors.
This is a simple cheesecake recipe that will produce a dessert everyone will love. Despite this, the real star of the show is still the fresh-cut pineberries added to the top to be folded into every bite.
Calories Per Serving: 120
Preparation Time: 50 Minutes
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You can use pineberries anywhere you might use strawberries – including fancy cocktails!
This simple drink takes less than 5 minutes to make with a handful of ingredients and demonstrates what is so special about pineberries. The subtle flavors of this intriguing berry make for an interesting and invigorating drink, even without the vodka.
The garnishes of a sprig of thyme and a slice of lime both add an interesting flavor to the drink, bringing out subtle flavor notes in the pineberries.
Calories Per Serving: 150
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Pineberries healthier Than Strawberries?
No evidence suggests that pineberries are any healthier than strawberries. From a nutritional perspective, they are almost identical.
Both strawberries and pineberries are extremely healthy and packed with nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants.
Pineberries are a hybrid cross between two different types of wild-growing strawberries, and the changes to their appearance and flavor seem to be much more dramatic than the changes to their nutritional profile (if there are any at all).
What we do know is that pineberries lack the antioxidant responsible for the bright red color in the skin of strawberries – anthocyanins. In that respect, at least, strawberries have an advantage over pineberries.
How Do You Eat Pineberries?
You can eat pineberries in all of the same ways that you would eat strawberries. Pineberries are a great snack on their own, and can be eaten fresh at room temperature.
You can also cut up pineberries and add them to baked goods, salads, and even soups. You can make desserts with pineberries, and boil them down into pineberry jam.
The great thing about pineberries is you can innovate with them just by doing things you have already done with strawberries.
Pineberries have similar characteristics and work the same way in recipes, but at the same time, they bring a unique flavor that is distinct from strawberries and change each dish they are added to.
Are Pineberries Just Strawberries?
The differences between pineberries and strawberries are underwhelming for some people, especially if they can’t taste much of a difference.
In some cases, they may be sampling cold (rather than room temperature) pineberries, which can be less flavorful and subtle, but in other cases, the taster may be right: the similarities outweigh the differences. Some people who sampled pineberries described the flavor as simply “like a mild strawberry”.
Pineberries are more than strawberries, with additional subtleties in flavor and texture that are worth exploring.
However, it’s important to calibrate your expectations. Pineberries are strawberries with some extra flavors, not an entirely new fruit.
The pineapple notes you taste in pineberries are not the result of a cross with an actual pineapple and tend to meld and mix with the natural flavors of strawberries.
To get the most out of pineberries, serve them at room temperature in dishes where their flavor won’t be overwhelmed by other ingredients, or eat them on their own.
When you spend a little more time and pay attention to the flavor, the subtleties and differences from red strawberries reveal themselves.
Are Pineberries Expensive?
Pineberries are more expensive than strawberries. They are a newer product, arriving on the market only in the last ten years or so.
They have visual shelf appeal and spark curiosity from those who haven’t tried them yet.
They aren’t necessarily better than strawberries, but they are priced more highly.
If you want to save some money, use strawberries for recipes where you won’t be able to taste the difference and save fresh pineberries for the visual appeal and culinary situations where the citrus and pineapple flavors can really shine.
Are Pineberries Rare?
Pineberries have only started appearing in grocery stores relatively recently, and in much smaller amounts than strawberries. They are also more highly priced.
Pineberries are not as expensive as they are because they are rare or difficult to grow. On the contrary, pineberries are hearty and vigorous plants that are often competitive with strawberry plants.
They can hold their own, and there is nothing preventing farmers from growing and selling them on a larger scale.
Pineberries are not common in nature, but that is simply because they are a result of a hybrid cross between two wild species of strawberry.
Pineberries are happily growing and multiplying, and if they were once rare they will not be for much longer.
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