A white strawberry that tastes like pineapple, the pineberry is having a major moment on social media right now. Scrolling through TikTok or Instagram, it's not uncommon to catch glimpses of the white berries and their bright red seeds. But what is a pineberry and where does the trendy fruit come from?
TikToker Angela Scarfia says she enjoys trying exotic fruits and sharing them with her followers. As someone who follows a plant-based diet, Scarfia was especially thrilled to find pineberries on a recent grocery run.
In a TikTok about the trending treat, Scarfia shared some details about pineberries. "The cousin of strawberries, with red seeds," she explained in the clip. "Traditionally only sold to high-end restaurants, I was thankfully able to grab these at Trader Joe's."
"It's hard to get your hands on pineberries," Scarfia tells Yahoo Life. "It was a huge win for me. Now that they're sold commercially — I love that, and it's a great fruit."
What are pineberries?
Nick Wishnatzki is public relations manager at Wish Farms, a year-round berry grower located in Florida. Wishnatzki explains there are many varieties of pineberries, from winter frost pineberries to the pink-a-boo, the variety of pineberries sold by Wish Farms. Pink-a-boo pineberries are a hybrid cross between a Florida red strawberry and a Japanese white strawberry brought to Florida by Dr. Vance Whitaker, a strawberry breeder at the University of Florida. Wishnatzki says in the case of pink-a-boo pineberries, Whitaker brought seeds at a Japanese grocery store and cross-bred the different varieties of strawberry in order to grow a berry that is blush pink in hue.
And the pinky-white goodness comes naturally to pineberries. "They're completely naturally grown and non-GMO," says Wishnatzki of the berry, which got its name in 2010 from the U.K., where growers began to describe the fruit in a way that reflected its pineapple flavoring. "They're just different varieties of strawberries, cross-bred."
In addition to being interesting to look at and delicious to snack on, pineberries are also a superfood: filling and low-calorie, as well as a good source of folic acid, phosphorus and vitamin C.
What do pineberries taste like?
Pineberries, according to Wishnatzki, can taste a little different to every person. "They're less acidic than a red strawberry," he says, "with tropical notes of pineapple, pear and apricot."
For some, like Scarfia, eating a pineberry is like a mid-day escape to a tropical island. "My tip is to eat them when they are super-ripe," Scarfia said in her TikTok, "so you can experience the creamy pina colada taste with a hint of strawberry."
However, like all berries, pineberries do not ripen after picking. So it's important to choose berries that are creamy white or pink in color (not green) and have bright red seeds.
Where can you buy pineberries?
Wishnatzki says Wish Farms currently ships their pineberries across North America, to retailers like Costco, Giant Eagle, BJ’s Wholesale Club, The Fresh Market and Aldi.
While pineberries were formerly only seen at high-end restaurants or on fancy charcuterie boards, the fruit has become more accessible, spotted in the produce aisles of supermarkets by excited TikTokkers like Scarfia and Faith Enokian, a fitness instructor who also recently shared her love of pineberries on the platform.
"Honestly I was curious as to what they would taste like," Enokian says. "I often do taste test videos so when I saw pineberries, I said why not? I was at my local grocery store and they caught my attention."
In her TikTok, which has been viewed more than seven million times, Enokian bit into a pineberry in her car in the grocery store parking lot then proclaimed, "Oh, that is just like a pineapple … when you bite into it, it's the same exact texture as if you were biting into a piece of pineapple."
How should you eat pineberries?
From pineberry-strawberry cheesecake to pineberry and poppy seed salad dressing, the Wish Farms website is packed with tasty ideas for pineberries that go beyond simple snacking. Scarfia says she's topped salads with pineberries, tossed them into smoothies and used them as a creative cocktail garnish.
Kate Kirkpatrick is director of communications at Aldi, and tells Yahoo Life that the grocery chain has watched pineberries grow in popularity on social media, leading them to work with local farms and growers to get the fruit on their own shelves.
"Pineberries are similar to a strawberry," Kirkpatrick says, "but are infused with notes of pineapple, pear and apricot. They can be enjoyed on their own or as a delicious addition to any dessert or summer salad. Given their notes of pineapple, they pair well with pork, walnuts and goat cheese."
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