Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crazy Fruits: The Pineberry

all photos courtesy of VitalBerry

The existence of Pineberries have only been brought to my attention for the first time the other day (on a gaming forum of all places).  It looks like some kind of alien albino strawberry.  At first I thought this was some kind of myth and I wasn't going to fall for it!  (I had a bad experience finding out ligers weren't real animals when I was 21)

The German name for these berries, Ananaserdbeeren, may be a more appropriate name as it literally means "pineapple strawberry."  Though it looks like a strawberry, it tastes like a pineapple.  Originating from South America and one of the oldest breeds of strawberries, the Pineberry is one of the great ancestors of today's common strawberries.  These Chilean white strawberries were later crossed with the wild red North American variety after the 1700s, producing the common garden strawberry that are in groceries today*.  As a result of the popular garden strawberry and the delicate nature of Pineberries, Pineberries were nearly forgotten into extinction. [main source: VitalBerry, pineberry supplier in Holland to the UK]

But!  For the past seven years, a breeder in the Netherlands has worked on bringing these little babies back to the global market.  This cultivar is first scheduled to be available in the UK very soon.

How cool is that?!

edit: It turns out ligers (and pineberries) ARE real after all!  This is amazing!  What's next?  Unicorns?  Boo you people who told me ligers weren't real. I was scarred for years after that.

*edit2: There seems to be a lot of conflicting or false information about the origins of this berry, even in professional news media articles--boo to irresponsible/lazy UK journalists who don't have interns to cross check their information.  I'm sticking to the supplier's version, even if it conflicts with wiki's version of the story.  I've personally contacted the suppliers in Holland and am awaiting their confirmation on the information I've posted.

Follow up on the Pineberry.


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