Why Reddit Isn't Enthusiastic About Trader Joe's Pineberries

To the untrained eye, pineberries look like nothing but a batch of white, unripe strawberries. However, if you're familiar with peculiar hybrids like cucamelons, kiwi berries, and plumcots, the existence of pineberries might not be all that surprising. While pineberries may seem like what you get when you cross strawberries with pineapples, The Pioneer Woman notes that the berry actually comes from natural cross-pollination between normal strawberry plants. The fruit only gets the "pine" part of its name because of its tart, pineapple-like flavor (via Thrillist).

Who wouldn't want to taste a fruit that looks like it's trying to trick your brain with the appearance of a strawberry but the taste of pineapple? Over on Reddit, some people has spotted winter frost pineberries for sale at Trader Joe's. Unfortunately though, they're not too thrilled about it. The main concern? These pineberries are not ripe enough. 

"The challenge is these are really hard to tell when they're ripe so often they are picked too early. The sweet pineapple flavor/aroma doesn't develop until they are fully ripe," one concerned shopper on a separate Reddit thread explained. "When the seeds are all red and sometimes have a light pink blush near the top of the berry, they are ripe." As it turns out, Trader Joe's does not seem to have mastered the art of picking ripe pineberries.

Reddit is concerned the pineberries are unripe

The main concern Redditors have with Trader Joe's pineberries is that they don't seem to be ripe. Considering the fruit itself is not too popular and most don't know what it's supposed to taste like in the first place, shoppers are frustrated about how Trader Joe's may end up only making people dislike this unique fruit. "It's driving me crazy that they are being sold so under-ripe so of course people are disappointed because they're so meh," says an angry Redditor who vouches for the fact that when ripe, pineberries are a game-changer.

Another user complains that the berries look like "that unripe part you find on the top of not-so-great strawberries," while yet another notes that they even taste like it. Other less-than-enthusiastic shoppers point out that Trader Joe's pineberries taste no different than regular strawberries and are not worth the steep $5.99 price tag. "Very mild strawberry taste, less acidic," one commenter said. "Seems like they rebranded unripe strawberries," adds another.

Since the main problem with Trader Joe's pineberries is a lackluster flavor due to a lack of ripeness — something Redditors also felt about Aldi's pineberries — some Redditors wonder whether the berries wouldn't just ripen over time when left to sit out. Much to their disappointment, comments say that like strawberries, pineberries don't ripen after they're plucked. A batch of unripe pineberries from Trader Joe's will remain, unfortunately, unripe.