We’re going to kick off our “Name That Food” series with the Pineapple! You may know that pineapples are good for you, being full of fiber, manganese and vitamin C. But if you’re like me you’ve been enjoying this uniquely sweet yet acid tropical fruit for years out of cans but never given the whole fruit much thought. (Yes, I am that lazy)
Pineapples grow on a small spiky plant that looks a lot like a yucca. These plants are semi tropical and compact measuring only about 2.5 feet wide by around 5 feet tall. They do well in pots so you can easily grow one indoors that will actually produce fruit. All you’ve got to do is give them enough light and don’t let the temperature dip below 28 degrees Fahrenheit too often. And get this, you can grow one from a crown cutting of the fruit! Yes, you know what our next “grown your own food” project is gonna be 🙂
Yes, I had to look that one up, too. See this picture here. Each one of the little “cells” is actually a separate berry even though you can’t see any indication of that when you cut it open.
Inside the pineapple is highly fibrous and juicy! This yummy treat can be eaten raw, cooked or preserved. Turns out prepping a pineapple is simple. Once you do it can easily be chopped up frozen, dried or canned for later use.
The totally unique taste of pineapple is both sweet and very acidic. So much so that it’ll raise those little bumps on your tongue if you eat too much of it raw before getting used to it.
The pineapple is a “new world” food originating in South America. We don’t know who first cultivated it but Mayas and the Aztecs loved it. Their civilizations spread the pineapple far and wide across the Americas. Christopher Columbus is known to have first found it on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493. He called it “piña de Indes” which means “Pine of the Indians”. After he took it back to Europe the pineapple exploded around the world both because it is so darn YUMMY but also because it keeps so well that first, the Spanish, then other sailors carried it with them everywhere to prevent scurvy.
Probably because of those sailors of old, the pineapple is part of a great many cuisines around the world from the Orient to Polynesia to Europe. In tropical areas raw pineapple on a stick is often sold as a snack at may a road side stand.
This incredibly versatile fruit can enhance both sweet and savory dishes and is included raw in both sweet deserts and spicy salsas. It works equally well as a pizza topping and the main part of a stir fry. The juice is lovely alone or blended with other juices. And who doesn’t love pineapple in their smoothies?
What’s your favorite pineapple dish? Let us know in the comments below so we can all learn from one another 🙂
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