‘Reverse strawberry’ hits Australian shores

A ‘reverse strawberry’ with white flesh and red seeds has been released onto the Australian nursery market and could eventually make its way to retail shelves.

The ABC reports that the fruit, known as a pineberry, was bred in Europe in the early 2000s from naturally occurring white strawberries which were collected in South American during the colonisation period.

United Nurseries is importing the fruit to Australia.

Phillip Neilsen from United Nurseries told the ABC that Australia’s strict quarantine and biosecurity requirements meant it took four years to bring the import process to fruition.

“They are still a strawberry, [but] you have a very subtle taste at the beginning of citrus or pineapple, and it finishes off with the classic strawberry flavour,” Neilsen said.

He said that initially the market for pineberries would be backyard growers but added that commercialisation was a real possibility in the future.

“The original thought pattern was just to target the public in respect to retail [nurseries],” he said.

“But what we saw over in Europe is that it is a commercial variety as well.

“You have to start somewhere, so we thought we’d start with retail and then work our way back down the other chain.”

He added that the unusual-looking fruit was not the result of genetic modification, but traditional breeding techniques.

“It’s taken them many years to develop them,” he said.

Image: United Nurseries.

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