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White strawberries have similar characteristics to Red strawberries; yet their coloring, size and their flavor distinguish them as a unique variety. The flesh is ivory white with pink blushes and red seeds on the skin. All varieties of strawberries have seeds on the skin rather than skin around the seed, which distinguishes them from a berry and a true fruit. The texture of any White strawberry is tender firm when ripe with varied levels of succulence and sweetness. Hybrid varieties tend to be sweeter than true species of strawberries. All White strawberries will maintain similar flavor compositions characterized by notes of pineapple, green leaves, caramel and grapes.
White strawberries can be found in some markets in Japan and California during peak season.
There are several varieties of White strawberries. There are two true species (Fragaria vesca and Fragaria chiloensis), which are known as Alpine Strawberries and Beach strawberries. Both of these varieties will grow true from seed as they are not hybrids. The Beach strawberry was instrumental in the cross-breeding that resulted in the large, red, plump strawberry varieties available today. Red strawberries contain protein redden, which transforms their color to red when they reach full ripeness. White strawberries are either deficient in or completely lack this protein. Red and White strawberries share the same molecule responsible for the aroma of ripe strawberries.
White strawberries are versatile because of their varied sugar content and acidity. Wherever strawberries are called within a recipe, White strawberries can easily be utilized. White strawberries can be used in both sweet and savory preparations, and shine either raw or cooked. They can be eaten fresh out of hand whole, sliced, pureed and used within ice creams, gelatos, granitas, sorbets and cocktails. Complimentary pairings include, vanilla, oranges, pineapple, cloves, grapefruit, lemons, limes, watermelon, cream, yogurt, ginger, brown sugar, chiles, bacon, basil, mint, lemon verbena, fennel, lavender, and cheeses such as blue cheese, feta and chevre.
The two species of White strawberries are native to both the Old World and the New World. Fragaria vesca is native to Europe. Fragaria chiloensis is a wild species of strawberry native to Chile. They continue to grow in both wild and domesticated form, though their commercial relevance is slight.