Just a few short years ago articles started appearing on gardening sites about strange berries that looked like white strawberries with red seeds and that tasted a bit like pineapple. They were frequently believed to be April Fool jokes. The wildly different opinions on how good they tasted didn’t help. Some said they tasted of nothing at all, while others said that they were the best berries that they’d ever eaten.
Last year I got hold of a few plants and grew some for myself and, for what it’s worth, here are my very unscientific and highly personal conclusions.
- They can be treated like any strawberry plant but they seem to be more sensitive to the cold and wet. So keep them sheltered in the winter, unless you have very forgiving winters where you live. A greenhouse is probably best during the coldest weather.
- They aren’t likely to produce a massive crop (although the weather wasn't great this year and that may well be a factor).
- And now the important bit – the taste. On the scale between ‘tastes of nothing’ and ‘best berry ever’ I’m definitely leaning towards the latter. I would probably still prefer a really good wild strawberry but pineberries combine a wild strawberry taste with a sharper edge that is genuinely reminiscent of pineapple.
- They probably won’t change your life, but, if you have a spare pot or two in a warm spot, they are definitely worth trying to grow.
Digression over - I promise to get back to recipes shortly.