G’day, mate. I’m a pineapple from sunny Queensland and it’s beaut to meet you. Let me tell you more about me and my family.
Although we look like a rough, spiky, pine cone we’re really a group of smaller fruits which have fused together around a central core. Oval-shaped, 20-30cm long and 10-15cm wide, we have a tuft of short, sharp, grey-green leaves rising from our top.
Our skin is rough, with scale-like segments; each scale has a sharp, pointed tip which curls upwards. Our skin colour varies from creamy-green to yellow-orange with our flesh colour pale yellow to golden yellow. Inside, we contain juicy, slightly fibrous segments, formed from each of our small fruits, attached to a firm central core.
Did you know?
Why Pineapples are Good to Eat
How Pineapples are Grown and Harvested
Our parent plant’s blue-green, sword-like leaves are arranged like a spiral staircase and its flowering stalk emerges from the centre of the leaf coil. These leaves retain their moisture making them a crop that can survive in very hot, dry conditions.
The stalk has a cluster of flowers, which are purplish to lavender in colour, which appear about 16 months after the pineapple has been planted. We are a multiple fruit, which means we grow from a cluster of fertilised flowers that join together. The flowers are also known as the eyes of the fruit and there are approximately 150 on each mature pineapple.
After planting we take up to 2 years to be ready for harvesting. After we have been cut from the plant another fruit will start to develop. This can continue to occur for up to 50 years.
How to Keep Pineapples
Prime Growing Areas
Columbus is said to have taken us to Spain where we became known as the ‘pina de indies’ (pine of the Indies) because it was thought we looked like pine cones. Another name, used in Europe, is ‘anana’ which is a South American Indian word for ‘excellent fruit’. The name pineapple was first recorded in England during the late 17th century.
Grown more as a glasshouse plant in cold climates, it wasn’t until we began to be imported from the Azores that we became popular in Europe. The Portuguese are thought to have introduced us to India in the 16th century and we appear to have been introduced into Australia by the Lutheran missionaries from India. Today, we are produced commercially in Australia, the West Indies, the Azores, Hawaii, Brazil and South Africa and other climatically suitable countries.
Fun Ways to Eat and Cook Pineapples
We contain an enzyme which prevents some dishes setting or cakes and breads from rising properly. We must, therefore, be added at the last minute or cooked before use. Grill, bake, poach, microwave or pan-fry and add to cakes, bread, muffins, sherbets, puddings, biscuits or meat.
Barbecued Prawns And Pineapple
Pineapple And Ham Muffin Pizza
Frozen Pineapple Pieces
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