Originating in South America, the pineberry presents characteristics of both strawberries and pineapples and started life as a wild variety of strawberry. It was threatened with extinction until seven years ago when Dutch farmers began growing it on a commercial level.
The pineberry is white and covered in red pips and has the same genetic make-up as the common strawberry but with a flavour and ”extraordinary” smell closer to that of the pineapple, Waitrose said. The supermarket will sell pineberries in 45 stores across the UK for the next five weeks while they are in season.
Each pineberry is smaller than a common strawberry measuring between 15 to 23 mm. They are grown in glasshouses, turning from green to white and are ripe when the seeds turn dark red.
Nicki Baggott, Waitrose fruit buyer, said: ”Pineberries offer our customers the chance to add a new fruit into their diet and the berry’s bright appearance can add an unusual decoration to sweet dishes.
”As the summer unfolds we won’t be surprised to hear that our customers are inviting their friends over for pineberry pavlovas, punch or serving them up with yogurt for a lighter alternative,” he added.