Have you been seeing white “strawberries” at your local market? These berries are called pineberries and were developed by the University of Florida. Find out more about these white berries, where you can find them and get the recipe for pineberry bruscetta.
Wish Farms in Plant City, Florida, developed a variety of pineberry called pink-a-boo pineberries. They were developed through natural breeding techniques, crossing a Japanese white strawberry and a Florida red strawberry. The result is a white berry with a hint of pink with bright red seeds. The inside flesh has a creamy color.
What Do Pineberries Taste Like?
Pineberries have a strawberry flavor, but with subtle essences of pineapple, pear and apricot. They’re also slightly lower in acidity than traditional red strawberries. The best way to enjoy pineberries is at or close to room temperature in order to allow your taste buds to experience all the flavor nuances.
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Nutritional Information for Pineberries
Pineberries have a similar nutrient composition to a strawberry but without the phytochemical called anthocyanin.
“A one-cup serving of pineberries has essentially the same nutritional profile as strawberries: 45 calories, one gram of protein, 10 carbohydrates and 210 mgs of potassium,” says Amber Maloney, director of marketing at Wish Farms. “Additional nutritional values are being researched by the University of Florida but are not yet available.”
Selecting and Storing Pineberries
Pineberries are available in most markets and grocery chains throughout the U.S. Just like other berries, pineberries don’t ripen after they are picked. Pineberry harvesters are trained carefully to select them at peak ripeness. They’re ready to be picked because they show a pink blush and their seeds are bright red.
When buying pineberries, treat them as you would traditional red strawberries. Once you purchase them and bring them home, store immediately in the refrigerator. Don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them. Wash them under a gentle stream of cool water. They’re highly perishable, so eat them within a few days of purchase.
Cooking With Pineberries
Maloney provides several tips on how to best use your pineberries in your kitchen. “It is recommended that pineberries be eaten at room temperature for the optimum flavor and texture.” In addition, Maloney says that “given their distinct appearance and unique flavor, pineberries are a real conversation starter when the whole fruit is visible.”
You eat pineberries as you would a traditional red strawberry. Cut the top off and gently wash before consuming. You can add it to your morning bowl of oatmeal, top it over yogurt, bake it into muffins or cupcakes or make an impression on your next charcuterie board. Maloney was kind enough to share a recipe using pineberries in this pineberry bruscetta.
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Pineberry Bruschetta Recipe
The classic bruschetta with a pineberry twist. Created by Chef Justin Timineri of Fresh From Florida, part of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He is a certified executive chef, author, teacher and winner of the Food Network Challenge Great American Seafood Cook-Off.
— 1 pound pineberries, tops removed, sliced.
— 1 teaspoon Florida honey.
— 8 ounces goat cheese, softened at room temperature.
— 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature.
— 12 slices of fresh Italian, French or Cuban bread.
— 2 tablespoons olive oil.
— ¼ cup balsamic or white balsamic syrup.
— ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, hand torn.
— Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, goat cheese and honey. Stir ingredients until incorporated and smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with a pinch of sea salt. Set aside or in the refrigerator until one hour before use.
2. Preheat a grill pan over medium heat or preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. Evenly drizzle the cut bread with olive oil. Place the oiled bread slices on a cooking sheet in the oven or in the preheated sauté pan. Cook the bread slices for 4 to 7 minutes or until the desired crispness is reached.
4. To assemble the pineberry bruschetta, spread an even amount of the goat cheese mixture over each toasted bread slice.
5. Top the bruschetta with an even amount of sliced pineberries. Lightly season each topped bruschetta with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
6. Garnish each bruschetta with hand-torn mint leaves and a drizzle of balsamic syrup. Serve immediately.
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