Pineapple – Origin and Cultivation

The pineapple plant belongs to the bromeliad family. It is a resilient evergreen and grows from the ground, with only a small portion of the stalk in the earth. The leaves are long and narrow and the fruit itself forms from the flower head – it is because of this that it can also be classed as a berry fruit. It is assumed that the indigenous peoples of South America cultivated the fruit as early as 4,000 years ago. Today, it is cultivated in tropical, sunny regions around the world. The main producers are Brazil, Thailand, Costa Rica and The Philippines.

Food Facts Food Facts

Pineapple

Class

ananas

Calories

50 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

13 g carbohydrates, 10 g sugar, 1.4 g fibre, 0.1 g fat, 0.5 g protein per 100 g

Season

available year-round from overseas

Storage

store at 18 to 22°C room temperature or in the cellar at 10 to 12°C

Shelf life

two days at room temperature or one week in a cool cellar

Pineapple – How to Spot a Fresh Fruit

Although the pineapple does not continue to ripen after it is harvested, it is picked before it reaches its maturity date. By the time the fruit is lying on your fruit shelf, it has already completed a long journey. So how does one recognise a fresh, but ripe, pineapple? First you should smell the stalk of the fruit, this is the bottom of the fruit – if it’s ripe it should have a sweet smell, if it’s overripe it will have a slightly alcoholic smell to it. An odourless pineapple could have done with a few more days in the sun.

Checking the pressure of the fruit is also a good way to ensure the fruit is ripe – it should give way to a light pressure. The leaves are also a reliable indication – they should be easy to pull out. If the leaves fall off by themselves and have a brownish instead of green colour, it’s best to leave them. 

Pineapple – Preparation

Ideally, the pineapple should be eaten soon after it is purchased. Remove the crown and the stalk with a large kitchen knife and then place the food on a cutting board in order to peel it from top to bottom. Be careful not to peel too much of the flesh of the fruit because that’s the juiciest part. Once you’ve removed the brown “eyes” cut the fruit into slices or chunks. The core of the fruit is edible - tough but still enjoyable. Store pineapple in an airtight freezer bag or cling film for no more than 48 hours.

Pineapple – Smoothies, Desserts and Toast Hawaii

There are countless pineapple recipes. Its sweet aroma lends itself well to the summer months when it is often used for desserts and tarts with a quark or cream base. For a healthier option, fresh pineapple can be added to any smoothie with, for example, coconut water and other tropical fruits like the banana or the orange. An exotic pleasure that gets you in the holiday mood!

Dried pineapple is a popular snack and can be either bought or homemade in a drying kiln or a normal oven. First you thinly slice the fruit, then place the slices on a baking tray at maximum 60°C. Turn the fruit discs regularly and let the steam escape from the oven. After ten hours they should have the desired consistency – slightly sticky and slightly chewy.

Pineapple – The Savoury Exotic Fruit

The pineapple can lend a sweet-sour taste to savoury dishes, so don’t be afraid to combine it with more substantial ingredients. Some favourites are a Chinese wok dish with pineapple and a sweet-sour sauce, or the legendary Toast Hawaii which was popular in West Germany in the 1950’s. To prepare, top a piece of toast with a slice of ham and pineapple (traditionally with tinned pineapple) and bake it in the oven with some cheese. The name comes from the fact that Hawaii was the largest pineapple cultivation area in the world for a long time.

Pineapple – Healthy Thanks to Enzymes

Pineapple does not only taste good, it also has loads of ingredients. The enzyme bromelain for example, is not only supposed to aid digestion, but can also help to relieve symptoms of a cold – especially a sore throat or a cough. The enzymes of the tropical fruit also helps regulate blood pressure. 

Pineapple – A Diet Miracle?

The fruit also provides a large amount of trace elements and minerals to strengthen nerves and muscles, and assist the acid-base balance of the body. The fruit’s effect as a natural fat-burner has not been scientifically proven, despite the popular diet called “the pineapple diet”. All in all, the pineapple is a healthy and filling food to enjoy during a diet with 50 calories per 100g.  

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