What are Pineberries and Some Pineberry Recipes
Although pineberries might resemble albino white strawberries they are in fact a different berry altogether. This petite, rounded fruit has white flesh and red seeds and there are some pineberry recipes you really must try. They are not as hardy as red strawberries although they do share a genetic makeup. Perhaps you have spotted some in the supermarket or market and been curious about what they are and how they might taste.
What are Pineberries Exactly?
This fruit, also known as chiloensis, or Puren White strawberries, is a cross between North American red strawberries and South American white strawberries. They are grown in plant form, since a second generation just produces red strawberries. You can’t grow them in your garden like regular strawberries but you can buy pineberries in your local grocery store…maybe!
What do pineberries taste like then? Well I would say they are strawberry-textured but pineapple-flavored, or at least mainly. These berries begin green but then get paler as they get more ripe. Slightly less than an inch across in size, pineberries offer a juicy flavor which is not too sweet nor too acidic, and they are really aromatic. This makes pineberry recipes an attractive idea if you want to make something new.
This exotic fruit was first discovered growing wild in South America and Dutch farmers are largely to thank for rescuing the fruit from extinction. They are native to Chile and Spanish explorers were the first to discover them. Actually pineberries are the oldest known kind of strawberry and the red ones we are more familiar with today derive from them.
Pineberry Recipes: When are Pineberries in Season?
The pineberry is in season during the spring and summer in the Northern hemisphere, and during the other 6 months in the southern hemisphere, meaning they are available all year round.
Beekers Berries, who are Dutch farmers, have started to export pineberries to UK supermarkets, as well as strasberries, a cross between strawberries and raspberries, and bubbleberries which are pink strawberries that taste a bit like bubblegum. There are pineberry recipes you can try and even incorporate some of these other yummy ingredients. Dutch horticulturists propelled this fruit into commercial cultivation, after the French started growing them, and after 6 years of research, commercial crops on a small scale were being produced in the Netherlands, and now they are also grown in the UK, in greenhouses.
Waitrose, a supermarket in the UK, trialed pineberries in Spring 2010 but found that some people found them too sweet while others liked them. Now they are back, so if you do spot them, grab some and try them for yourself. I love them – perhaps you will too! I spotted cotton candy grapes recently but haven’t had the change to grab any yet!
What are Some Pineberry Recipes?
You can use pineberries the same way you use regular strawberries and also in some pineapple recipes, first because the flavor is not too different from either fruit, and second because they have the same molecular structure as pineapple, meaning you can pair them with curry, pork and cloves, a spinach, walnut and goat cheese salad, smoked white fish, or even young cheeses.
Stir some pineberries into your yogurt at breakfast or try them with your granola. Enjoy them on their own as a snack or try coating them in chocolate for a gourmet treat. The sky is the limit with this exciting fruit.
Pineberry Recipes: A Fruity Smoothie
Put a roughly chopped banana in your blender or food processor with half a pint of pineberries, half a cup (120ml) vanilla yogurt, and 6 oz (170g) pineapple juice, and blend until smooth. You can serve this over ice or add some ice to it, although if your berries, yogurt and juice were in the refrigerator it might be cold enough already.
- 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
- 16 pineberries
- 4 oz (120g) soft goat cheese ,cut into 8 pieces
- 12 walnut halves
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot or red onion
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Rinse the spinach and pineberries if necessary.
- Divide the spinach between 2 places.
- Top with the pineberries, cheese and walnut haves.
- Stir the dressing ingredients together.
- If you need to add more oil or vinegar, go ahead.
- For a sweeter flavor you could also add a pinch of sugar or honey.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve right away.
If you want to make this dressing but don't have walnut oil, just use extra-virgin olive oil or another nut oil like hazelnut oil if you want.