this-berry-mashup-is-the-perfect-snacking-fruit

pineberries in glass bowl

Photo: David Pimborough (Shutterstock)

I was at Aldi shopping for groceries a few months ago when I saw something curious in the fruit section. These striking berries were hard to miss; they were a pale white color with tiny red seeds in them and were smaller than your typical market strawberry. Their coloration made them look like strawberries on opposite day, and they were so picturesque that they almost looked like little toy figurines of food. The clamshell was labeled “Pineberries,” and at $5.99 they weren’t exactly cheap, but I couldn’t resist. (Hey, it was Aldi, the rest of my groceries were plenty affordable.)

What do pineberries taste like?

Once I brought them home, I immediately bit into one. It had similar flesh to a strawberry with a faint floral note of pineapple to it (hence its name, which is a mashup of “pineapple” and “strawberry.”).

The taste was delicate enough to the point where I just enjoyed them as-is. Any cooking would have obliterated their flavor, and because the it is so gentle, even adding them to something like a bowl of ice cream would have overwhelmed their mild taste.

What are pineberries, exactly?

Pineberries are a type of strawberry and not some fruit from an alien dimension, as I’d initially suspected. SFGate reports that they’re a cross between a berry from Chile along with one that grows in Virginia. Strawberryplants.org, which is a strawberry growing resource site, says that the Chilean berry is called Fragaria chiloensis, while the Virginian version is Fragaria virginiana, for you botany nerds out there.

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Are pineberries worth buying?

Pineberries are much more expensive than their crimson counterpart and are relatively hard to find, though stores like Trader Joe’s and Aldi will have them from time to time. If you’re curious about them, I’d definitely plunk down the cash to try them once, but you’ll also need to remember that their flavor isn’t as strong as a standard strawberry. This is the type of fruit you simply eat and enjoy, so if you’re big on snacking on fruit, this is the treat for you.

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