Pineapple

Pineapple

Plural:
Pineapples
Family:
Bromeliaceae – Pineapple Family
Species:
Ananas comosus

Origin

Christopher Columbus received pineapples as a welcome present from the inhabitants of Guadeloupe after his second voyage across the Atlanic ocean on the 4th November. He compared them with the pine cone, which led to the English and Spanish designations of the “pineapple” (pine cones). The Europeans spread them to all tropical regions. They benefited from the breeding experience of the South American Indians: the archetype of the pineapple still carried tiresome seeds inside the berries, the cultured pineapple of the Indians could already be propagated by saplings.

Plant

It looks like the tuft of the pineapple fruit, but substantially larger: Approximately 1 m length, and spiky with feather-edged leaves that form a rosette. An approximately 30 cm long peduncle with 100 to 200 white-pink blossoms, arranged like an spike grow from the middle. Bracts stand around the blossoms, on the peak of the spike there is a rosette of leaves. With ripeness the blooms turn from blossoms into berries, which together with bracts and peduncle grow to a meaty fruit.

Cultivation

Everywhere in the tropics.

Fruit

Edible:
The flesh and the stalk.
Inedible:
The skin.
Odour and flavour:
It is fresh, sour and very intense.
Ripeness:
The odour is intense, the fruit is heavy with fresh, juicy rosette leaves and the internal leaves can be plucked easily. The colour does not state anything about the degree of ripeness.
Overripe fruits:
The fruit becomes soft, often accompanied with rot or mildew; leaves are limp in the rosette.
Unripe fruits:
They are bilious-green and have no dour

Usage

They may be eaten raw, put in sweet and hearty salads, made into fancy cake fillings and flan covering. Also, they can be boiled for jam or chutney, roasted with poultry and red meat or baked in cake.

Storage

Whole mature fruits last about 4 days with a fridge temperature of a maximum of 5 °C, any lower, the insides of the fruit may become covered in spots. Sliced ripe fruits last 1 day at a maximum of 5 °C. Post-maturation: they should be stored on a soft base or hung up by the tuft in a chilled room at 10 to 15 °C.