|Did You Know?|
|When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit in the Americas, they called them “pineapples”, first so referenced in 1664 due to resemblance to what is now known as the pine cone).
Many languages use the term ananas. In Spanish, pineapples are called piña in Spain and most Hispanic American countries. In Argentina it is known as ananá, check out the piña colada drink. They have varying names in the languages of India: ananas in Marathi, anaasa in Telugu, Sapuri-PaNasa in Oriya language, and in Malayalam, kaitha chakka. In Malay, pineapples are known as nanas or nenas. A large, sweet pineapple grown especially in Brazil is called abacaxi; and along the Swahili-speaking coast of East Africa, the fruit is known as nanasi.
Fresh pineapples are the only known source of bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties.
Pineapples are picked when ripe and do not ripen after harvest. Select pineapples that are fresh looking. Contrary to popular belief, the ease with which leaves can be pulled out is not necessarily a sure sign of ripeness. Avoid fruit that is old looking, dry or with brown leaves. Avoid bruised fruit or those with soft spots.
Store pineapple in refrigerator for 2 to 4 days. Cut pineapple lasts a couple of days if placed in a tightly covered container and stored in the refrigerator.
Twist off crown. Cut pineapple in half and then into quarters. Trim off ends and remove core from center of quarter. Using a thin paring knife remove shell from fruit. Cut into bite-size pieces.
For pineapple “boats” leave on the crown and both ends on the pineapple. Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise. Use a thin paring knife to cut the fruit out of the boats. The boats can be filled with fruit salad, main dish salad or ice cream.
NOTE: While researching pineapple, I was surprised to learn that pineapples are actually an above ground crop. I for one always thought they grew in trees like other tropical fruit such as bananas and coconuts. At least that wasn’t as bad as a friend of mine who was positive potatoes grew on vines!