The pineberry is a small conical fruit that looks like an unripe strawberry. Its color ranges from white to a subtle shade of pink and there are tiny red seeds (achenes) spaced evenly across the skin.
If you’re new to this fruit then you may be wondering what does a pineberry taste like? We’re about to take a close look at this fruit’s flavor, texture, and uses in the kitchen.
What do pineberries taste like?
A pineberry is a variety of strawberry that has a white pineapple-flavored flesh that is combination of sweet, tart and citrus. The pineapple intensity varies depending on who is tasting it. Its aroma has a pineapple overtone with hints of caramel and cloves.
Biting into a pineberry, you’ll discover the texture is soft and juicy, comparable to strawberries. The red seeds are barely noticeable and are perfectly edible.
Pineberries can be treated the same as a strawberry in the kitchen and are popular in both sweet and savory dishes. Some tasty uses for this fruit include:
Sangria: during hot days in summer, add a delicious tart sweetness to your next jug of sangria.
Frozen desserts: few foods taste better than pineberries transformed into sorbet or icecream.
Jam: for people that have too much fruit that’s starting to over-ripen, turn it into jam, jelly, or a conserve.
Butter: just like lemons, pineberries also make a delicious ingredient for flavored butter.
Beverages: add flavor and extra nutritional benefits to your next smoothie or juice.
Baked goods: combine the fruit into cakes, muffins, pies, or any other dessert that benefits from the addition of fruit.
Roasted: add the berries to a tray and roast until soft and aromatic.
How to store
The pineberry is extremely delicate and perishable, so it is best kept in the fridge until you’re ready to consume. Don’t wash until it’s time to eat them as moisture can reduce their shelf life.
If you’ve got too many, then your best option is to freeze them. First, hull the fruit and add them as a single layer to a baking tray and freeze until solid. Next, transfer the pineberries to a zip lock bag or airtight container and label them with name and current date. Individually freezing the fruit first will stop them from freezing into one solid clump.
Another option for freezing pineberries is to crush them into a pulp and freeze as a solid block. You may want to add some sugar before freezing.
Related reading: How to freeze strawberries.
Are pineberries strawberries?
The pineberry is a relative of the regular red strawberry (Fragaria ananassa). The trailing plants, white flowers, and cone-like fruit all look strikingly similar. However, when it comes time to taste these two fruits you will find the pineberry has a tarter flavor and shares similarities with a pineapple.
A 3 ½ oz serving of pineberries provides 23 calories, 5g of sugar, and 2g of fiber. Pineberries are rich in antioxidants and contain useful levels of folate, Vitamin A, and C. They can support heart health and bolster the immune system.
Fast facts about pineberries
- The plant can grow up to 12 inches tall and has a spread of around 18 inches wide.
- Pineberries are the result of crossbreeding strawberry varieties from Virginia (Fragaria virginiana) and Chile (Fragaria chiloensis). They are not the result of genetic engineering.
- The name “pineberry“ is a trade name used for marketing the fruit, it’s real name is Puren White strawberry. The fruit’s botanical name is Chiloensis.
- The fruit can be harvested through summer and won’t deal well with frost.
- An average pineberry ranges from 0.6-0.9 inches which is considerably smaller than a strawberry. A small strawberry is roughly the same size as a large, fully grown pineberry.
- Other names include pineapple strawberry, white pineberry, and pineberry strawberry.
- In stores, the fruit is usually more expensive than strawberries as they have farms on a much smaller scale with a lower yield.
The pineberry looks a lot like a strawberry, but it is smaller and a much lighter shade. As far as flavor goes the pineberry has a pleasant taste and is excellent for eating on its own.
In the kitchen, use them in much the same way that you would use common strawberries. Most people won’t have seen them so adding a handful to fruit salads or other desserts, where you can show them off, is a great option.
Pineberries are likely to appeal to most people and kids will appreciate their novelty factor. There are no powerful flavors or pungent aromas either.
If you’re interested in tasting a pineberry then your best option is to try a local farmers market from spring through to early summer. In the United States, if they aren’t available in your area, then try growing your own plants. They’re easy to grow and like strawberries, don’t require much space.
Are you looking to buy a punnet of pineberries or are you considering growing your own at home? Please let us know in the comments below.