Pineapple description and origin
Pineapple belongs to the Bromeliaceae family. This tropical plant is an herbaceous perennial that grows up to one meter in height and about thirty inches in width. In the midst of this strong herbaceous plant, up to 6 pounds of pineapple fruit can be ripened, with a typical shell surface, irregular shapes and rough bark. Juicy pineapple flesh is yellow, sweet and aromatic taste.
Pineapples originated from the Caribbean, and not as previously thought, from South America. They were discovered by Columbus in 1493. In Europe, pineapple was highly appreciated, expensive and reserved for the royal court, particularly because it could not grow, as it was revealed that it can be grown only in the tropical climate. In Africa, Asia and South Pacific plants were brought by Portuguese and Spanish explorers and in those parts of the world pineapples are still grown. The name derives from Indian word “Annan”, meaning “excellent fruit.”
Facts on buying and storing pineapple
Unlike bananas, pineapples no more mature after harvest. Therefore, when buying pineapples it is very important to choose the right ones. Selected pineapple must be fresh looking with green leaves; bark must look healthy and free of soft and dark parts. When you take a pineapple into your hand, its weight must match its size, which can vary from medium to baby pineapple. Although some believe that the maturity of pineapple can be determined by examining if the inner pineapple leaf is easily separated, most people believe that the odor on the bottom of the pineapple is more important factor. The odor must be gentle and sweet, so avoid fruit with unpleasant or sour-fermented smell.
Pineapples can be stored at room temperature for up to two days, or in the refrigerator, wrapped in a plastic bag, for three to five days. It can be cleaned and cut easily with a pineapple corer, put into a container with a lid with the necessary addition of a little pineapple or lemon juice. Pineapple can also be frozen, but it will thus lose its strong aroma.
During the whole year, pineapple is available cut into small slices and canned, as diced candied fruit or dried.
Just keep in mind that canned pineapple loses up to 60% of the vitamins, and also by canning it bromelain molecules decompose.