Flavoursome white strawberries with a pineapple flavour have been launched by producers in Spain.
The white berry, named ‘pineberry’ for the UK market, where it was first made available in 2010, has a distinct pineapple-like flavour.
A hybrid cross of the Fragaria chiloensis and Fragaria virginiana plants, pineberries are almost completely white with red seeds.
Pineberries, smaller in size than strawberries, are very popular in Japan, where prices can exceed EUR 40 a kilo.
Spanish media reported that white strawberries, first sold commercially in the US in 2012, will be produced by regional suppliers and made available at a much cheaper cost than in Japan.
Having noticed the strawberry cultivar’s popularity in other markets, Spanish producers have decided to cash in on the trend, and production of pineberries has already started in the municipality of Lepe in the Spanish province of Huelva, according to the news site TeleMadrid.
However, despite the recent rise in popularity, the berries have actually been around for some time and their origins date back to Chile in South America.
From the early 1700s, they were then exported to France, where they spread to other parts of the world.
Dutch farmers saved the strawberry cultivar from possible extinction in 2003 and, after testing it, decided to name it pineberry to combine pineapple, which it tastes like, and strawberry, which it looks like, according to TeleMadrid.
Pineberries are currently only available in a few countries, including the US and France, and Spanish producers hope to emulate its rising popularity in Japan.