Pineberries: Strawberry Pineapple Hybrids

This article on “Papples”, the unofficial title for a fruit hybrid between an apple and a pair (yawn), I found THIS gem: Something called Waitrose has strawberries that taste like pineapples! NOW we’re talkin…

In a way, you’ve got to admire the PR effort. It’s a strawberry! But it tastes like a pineapple! It’s a pineberry! They’ve played a blinder here – a freakish-sounding fruit that takes a pretty picture is always a winner for press coverage, as we all know. They’ve got the print inches in the usual places, they’ve got us covering them (albeit in an annoyingly sneery way); hell, they’ve even got conspiracy theories springing up with a Wikipedia page questioning whether the whole thing’s an April Fool due to the fact that an internet design and SEO company also called Pineberry published several new websites just before the launch of the new fruit.

Back in the real world, there have been a number of white strawberry varieties around for hundreds of years. This is one of them. It doesn’t taste anything like a pineapple, it tastes like a sharp – and quite unpleasant – strawberry.

Overall verdict: not as bad as Waitrose’s memorable but truly awful strawberry and cream sausage from last year but really not very nice at all.

From that Wikipedia page:

The Pineberry is a strawberry cultivar publicized in Eastern Germany in April, 2009, as Ananaserdbeere, or pineapple strawberry. It is a hybrid of Fragaria chiloensis, originating in South America and Fragaria virginiana, originating in North America. “The fruit flesh can range from soft white to orange and is very fragrant with a slight pineapple flavor,” said Greg Goddard, the co-creator. The plant is disease resistant, but is not very profitable. Due to small-scale farming, small berry size and low yield crop, the Pineberry has been marketed to European restaurants, bakeries and wholesale markets. It is also grown in Belize.

The berry has been dubbed the Pineberry for the UK market where it became available in 2011.White strawberries are not rare; garden supply stores in the UK have other white varieties of strawberry called White Soul and White Delight. Unlike the pineberry, these however are Fragaria vesca cultivars; the strawberries these plants produce are generally smaller and more fragrant.

Pineberries were bred from a species of South American wild strawberry, but was nearly extinct until 2003, when a group of Dutch farmers banded together to save the plant. When ripe, it is almost completely white, but with red seeds. A pineberry is smaller than a common strawberry, measuring between 15 to 23 mm. They are grown in greenhouses, growing on coir like other strawberries. Pineberries begin life as green berries, then become slightly white. By the time its deeply set seeds turn deep red, the white fruit is deemed ripe.

If you’re still curious about the papples for some reason:

A fruit so new it is yet to be named, but described as a pear disguised as an apple, is to go on sale in the UK next week.

Marks and Spencer says the fruit – dubbed a “papple” – looks and tastes like an apple but has the skin and texture of a pear, and is a member of the pear family.

It is being referred to as T109 until its official name is decided, a spokeswoman said.

Other hybrid fruits that actually exist, include:

Tangelo - A citrus fruit hybrid of a tangerine and a grapefruit

Grapple - Apple that has been specially treated so that it tastes like grapes.

Aprium - Complex crossing of a plum and an apricot.

Orangelo - A cross between a grapefruit and an orange

Plumcot - Another plum/apricot hybrid.

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