The White Strawberries You See at the Grocery Store Are Called Pineberries—and They Actually Taste Like Pineapple

The striking berries have red seeds, white flesh, and develop a delicate blush as they ripen.

If you have a finger on the pulse of food trends, you've likely noticed a pretty pale fruit gracing your social media feed (or at least seen them in the produce aisle): the white strawberry. The mysterious fruit, called a pineberry, has become especially popular on grazing boards, where it contrasts against the deep red-and-blue hues of more common berries. So, what exactly is a pineberry—and how is it different from a regular strawberry? To learn more, we talked to berry experts for a full explainer on this unique fruit.

What Are Pineberries?

Pineberries are white strawberries with red seeds, per experts at the University of Illinois. A hybrid between Japanese white strawberries and regular Florida strawberries, they got their name thanks to their subtle pineapple aftertaste, says Vance Whitaker, PhD, a professor of horticulture at the University of Florida. Whitaker, who developed the Florida Pearl® (the pineberry's branded name in the United States), says the fruit is sold under multiple labels, like Pink-a-Boo® at Wish Farms and Berry de Blanc at Astin Farms. Meanwhile, in Europe, the Pearl® name is used through Marks & Spencer.

It's worth noting that white strawberries aren't necessarily new. They were grown by indigenous people in Chile—where they're sometimes found in the wild—as far back as a thousand years ago, according to the University of Missouri. In more recent years, variations of pineberries have also been cultivated in Asia. However, these versions aren't suitable for growing in the U.S., and most of the white strawberries found in the wild wouldn't thrive in a garden or farmer's field, says Whitaker. With that in mind, he and his team developed the Florida Pearl®, as described in a 2023 article in the journal HortScience. "The Pearl® is the first pineberry that has the yield and other characteristics needed for farmers to grow them and make them widely available," says Whitaker.

Pineberries vs. Strawberries

Although pineberries are genetically related to common red strawberries, they differ in several ways. The most obvious difference is their white color and red seeds. Specifically, the internal flesh is fully white, while the exterior develops a pink blush when the fruit is ripe, says Whitaker. The pineberry is also smaller than a red strawberry; it's larger than dime, but smaller than a quarter, say Bruce J. Black and Andrew Holsinger, horticulture educators at the University of Illinois Extension. Additionally, pineberries are softer and have a mild pineapple flavor—though not everyone can detect it, says Black.

But despite these differences in appearance, texture, and flavor, pineberries require similar growing conditions and care as red strawberries. Both fruits thrive in dry, cool weather (50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) at night and bright sunshine and warm temperatures (70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day, according to Gary Wishnatzki, owner of Wish Farms, the largest grower of pineberries in the U.S.

pineberries in bowl
bhofack2 / GETTY IMAGES

Where to Find Pineberries

Thanks to increased commercial production, white strawberries are available nationwide, says Holsinger. They're also grown and harvested during the same time as strawberries, which differ slightly by region. According to Wish Farms, pineberries are grown between November and April in Florida and from January to October in California.

That being said, the pineberry is still a niche fruit, so it costs more than its red counterpart, says Holsinger. Pineberries are also more delicate, thus needing extra care during shipping and packaging, according to Whitaker. However, if you're curious about the fruit—or simply want to spruce up your recipes—it's certainly worth buying a pack or two to enjoy.

How to Store and Use Pineberries

Pineberries, like other berries, are highly perishable, explains Wishnatzki. This means the berries need to stay cold from farm to store in order to stay fresh. For example, at Wish Farms, the berries are cooled within an hour or two of harvest, then shipped to stores on refrigerated trucks, says Wishnatzki. Try to buy berries (pineberries or otherwise) from a refrigerated case at the supermarket, adds Wishnatzki.


When storing pineberries, follow the best practices for storing berries in general: Place them in the refrigerator as soon as you get home and avoid washing them until you're ready to eat. With this approach, pineberries should last between five to seven days, according to Wishnatzki. Just before eating, wash the white strawberries under a cool, gentle stream of water and let them rest on the counter for about 30 minutes. "I've found that [letting] pineberries come to room temperature really brings out their unique subtle flavors of strawberry, pineapple, and pear," explains Wishnatzki.


Use pineberries as you would other berries. Enjoy them as is or on cereal with strawberries and blueberries, says Wishnatzki. "They also pair well with other tropical fruits in a mixed fruit salad or on a charcuterie board," he says. Use them as toppers on waffles, toast, parfaits, or cheesecake. They'd also make a pretty garnish for cocktails or fruity drinks, like a berry spritzer. For a more savory take, toss chopped pineberries in salads or blend them into a creamy dressing.

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