Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image By D. Pimborough
Strawberries are without a doubt one of the most recognizable fruits on the planet. They can be tart or sweet. They can be used in smoothies or covered in chocolate. And now, thanks to science, they can be white with a very different taste profile.
Yes, you read that right. Strawberries can also be grown with a blushed white interior and exterior—and they taste quite different.
Known as pineberries, the new white variants are beginning to pop up on grocery store shelves in Florida.
But what exactly are they?
Pineberries are simply a pale pink-hued strawberry hybrid that is now being grown in Florida that gets its name due to its distinct pineapple aroma.
Professor Vance Whitaker from the University of Florida bred the “white” strawberry variant through the process of cross-pollination. By cross-pollinating Japanese and Florida plants, Whitaker was able to have them grow in time for the harvesting season.
“My job is to breed strawberries. Having a different segment makes the value larger, right? It amplifies everything,” said Whitaker. “It becomes a niche of the industry and a product. You now have pineberries in the store, and everyone can have access to, and it complements red and makes them more valuable to the grower.”
Nick Wishnatzki of Wish Farms in Plant City, FL., describes the taste of the distinctive strawberry hybrid as, “a little bit of normal strawberry sweetness, tartness but the aroma and aftertaste is really unique.”
“My family has been in the biz for 100 years, so I’ve been eating strawberries since I was a little kid, and I’ve never experienced anything like this,” he added. “It’s totally unique and delicious.”
The variant grown at Wish Farms in Hillsborough County is labeled as “Pink A Boo.”
While the taste is arguably different for everyone who tries it, the general consensus has been as if you smashed a pineapple, peach, and pear all-in-one.
However, don’t be shocked at the price tag of these cool-looking strawberries if you happen to cross paths with them at your local grocer. Because they are a specialty item and aren’t as mass-produced as regular strawberries, they will likely cost you double the price of its red cousin.
The first season of growth is more of a trial run than anything to see how consumers respond to the fruit, but growers believe they will be more widely available this time next year.
So the next time you are at your local grocery store, be sure to look around and, if you can, snag a fresh box and try them for yourself!
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William is the Managing Editor at FloridaInsider.com. His years of experience in journalism, broadcasting and multimedia include roles as a Writer and Web Producer. He graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science and Communication.