PINEAPPLE

This tropical fruit looks like a large, oval, spiky pine cone with a tuft of short, sharp leaves rising from its top. The skin colour varies from creamy-green to yellow-orange. Inside, the juicy and slightly fibrous yellow flesh is formed into segments that are attached to a firm central core.

In 1493, Christopher Columbus became the first European to discover this curious new fruit with its abrasive segmented exterior like a pinecone and a firm interior pulp like an apple. Despite numerous attempts, it took two centuries before anyone was able to cultivate the pineapple plant in Europe. The rarity of the pineapple made them very expensive and hostesses at parties in large, well-off homes would serve the fruit as a luxury, reserved only for their special friends and family. In many cases the price of the fruit was so exorbitant that the hostess would rent them for the night and return them to the grocer for another to hire the next day. The pineapple was the centrepiece of the feast and came to symbolise generosity and hospitality.

PINEAPPLE are classed as a fruit.

Tips

Pineapples contain an enzyme that can tenderise meat if used as a marinade.

Nutritional Information

Typical values per 100g (raw): energy 32 kcal, 132 kJ; protein 0.3g; carbohydrate 8.0g; fat 0.3g.

Preparation

Cut the pineapple lengthways in half, then each half into quarters. Trim away the hard core. Cut the fruit away from the shell following its curve, but leave the fruit in place. Then cut crosswise into bite-size pieces. Alternatively, slice into rings, peel and remove the centre core.

Storage

Store at room temperature. Once cut, cover and refrigerate.

Choosing

Pineapples should be firm, feel heavy for their size and have fresh-looking, dark green crown leaves. No bruises, mould or soft areas should be apparent. A ripe fruit should have a sweet, pleasant aroma and the central leaves in the crown should pull away easily.

Fun Fact

Pineapples were given their name because the explorer Christopher Columbus thought they looked like a pine cone.

Availability

Shown below is where this item grows in the world and where it may come from when you buy it at your supermarket or local shop.

CountryJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Costa Rica