YOU may have noticed the unusual looking pale strawberries on display at greengrocers across Spain.
These anaemic versions with their bright red seeds are not merely unripened versions of the typical strawberry, as a glance at the price tag will reveal.
Introducing the ‘pineberry’, the latest trend in fruit that can cost as much as ten times the price of a traditional punnet.
The Olive Press spotted them on sale for an eyewatering €12 a kilo in one gourmet greengrocer in Madrid.
It is a variant of strawberry that tastes like pineapple (hence the name) that has suddenly become more widespread after growers in Huelva tapped into the gourmet market.
“This is the first year that we have put them up for sale and we have had a better result than expected,” explained Carlos Masia, head of marketing at Masia Ciscar de Lepe farms in Huelva, southwestern Spain.
The fruit have proved a hit with Instagrammers who post pictures of the photogenic fruit.
He believes that the success is due to “They are a novelty and that their appearance attracts a lot of attention,” said Masia.
But in addition to being interesting to look at they are also delicious, as tend to be juicier than a traditional strawberry and with a lingering aftertaste of pineapple.
The fruit are a hybrid of pineapple and strawberries and lack the red intensity of a usual strawberry because they contain less of a protein called Fra a1 which is what causes strawberries to redden as they ripen.
The reason the pineberries are far more expensive than the usual strawberry is because they produce less fruit per plant and more labour intensive to pick.
The skin is more sensitive than a traditional strawberry and they bruise easily.
Apart from the unusual appearance and flavour, the pineberry differs little from the traditional strawberry and offers the same superfood qualities – a good source of folic acid, phosphorus and vitamins A and C contained within each low calorie bite.