WHITE STRAWBERRIES OR PINEBERRIES: THE MOTHER OF ALL STRAWBERRIES
The white strawberries (pineapple strawberries or pineberry) are native to Chile, and from them derive the common red strawberries through crosses. Here are their history and nutritional values
White strawberries or pineapple strawberries
In Purèn, a small Chilean town on the coast, in the province of Malleco, the stock that gave birth to our strawberries still exists.
Yes, European strawberries are not European. Or rather, only the color is European, red. For the rest, the Chilean white strawberries are the progenitors of all the berries in the world.
In ancient times, in fact, the fruits (indeed, the false fruits) mentioned by Pliny, Virgil, and Ovid were only wild, the tiny wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca).
Then, the discovery of the New World will change strawberries forever. In 1614, the Spanish missionary Alfonso Ovalle discovered, in Chile, in the countryside around Concepción, unusually large fruits which will be called Fragaria chiloensis, or Chilean strawberry. A hundred years will go by; however, before a French traveler, Francois Frezier, an engineer in the service of Louis XIV, will decide to bring some Chilean plants to France. During the trip, only five plants were saved, but they will be enough to ensure that, in 1766, modern strawberries were born in Brest thanks to the botanist Nicolas Duchesne. It will be a cross between them, and more precisely that between the United States’ Fragaria Virginiana (always a wild strawberry) and the white Chilean.
This first cross, which is Fragaria ananassa, will be hybridized several times to create new varieties, always bigger and deeper red.
The Chilean white strawberry
The Chilean white strawberry or pineberry has a rounded shape and a small tip. The skin is white or pinkish, with pink or red dots. The aroma is delicate, very sweet, and those of the Purén area are Slow Food presidium. The other areas where they are grown in Chile are Manzanal, a sheltered area close to the Nahuelbuta Range.
The soils used are located in the woods, clayey and poor. For 14 hectares of plantation, about 26 farmers are needed. The harvest begins after November 20 and ends in mid-January, making pineberry or strawberry-pineapple the typical fruit of the Chilean Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
White strawberries in Europe
In recent years, since 2003, the Dutch have been able to relaunch the pineberry in Europe too. So if you want to buy seeds of white strawberries, suitable for growing in pots or on the balcony, you can find them on the White Dream of the Bakker catalog (not always present).
Japanese White Jewel: white, sweet and huge strawberries
The Japanese know how to appreciate beauty and love fruit.
In the land of the Rising Sun, in fact, there is a great fascination for the particular fruit, and 108 strawberries of different types and colors have even been sold for 13700 dollars. The same goes for pineapples and watermelons.
As has happened with whiskey, they have been able to bring the production of white strawberries to the highest levels.
It is not a pure Chilean but a cross, grown in the Karatsu area by Yasuhito Teshima.
Huge, perfectly white, or slightly pink, white jewels are produced on a small scale. Otherwise, it would not be possible: in fact, only 10% of the Japanese white strawberries get to be sold. As a result, a pack costs something like $ 40. Of course, nothing to do with Bijin Hime, strawberries (this time red) that can weigh up to 100 grams each and whose price reaches 400 euros per piece (yes, per piece).
Calories and nutrition facts of the pineberry
The white strawberry contains about 107 kcal per 100 grams
1. 0.2g is fat
2. 1mg of sodium
3. 268mg of potassium
4. 26.5g of carbohydrates
5. 1.8g of fiber
6. 21.9g of sugars
Besides, the white color of pineberry is given by the absence of the Fragaria A1 allergen, and this offers the possibility of consuming this type of strawberry even to those who are allergic to red ones.
The white strawberry in the kitchen
Strawberries in the kitchen have always had a place of honor among fruit and desserts. The same can be done with pineberries; in particular, if you want to use them in a fruit salad, you can add honey or brown sugar. Then try to make a white strawberry cake or use them as a garnish for more refined dishes, even for first or second courses.
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)