Guide to Pineapples

Pineapple is a tropical fruit that is part of the Bromeliaceae family. Pineapples are reproduced from the offset that can be on their top, popularly known as their crown. It takes about five to ten months for the pineapple to develop and mature. Pineapple has been enjoyed by people all over the world for thousands of years. In this article, we are going to learn about the parts of a pineapple, where and how they grow, as well as the different types of pineapples.

Parts of a Pineapple

Did you know that pineapple was named after pinecones? The Spanish called pineapples the ”Pine of the Indies” because they were both hard and spiky. The skin is too rough to eat, so most people eat the flesh of a pineapple, or the inside, after removing the skin. At the grocery store, you can buy the pineapple with the skin on, or you can buy it already chopped up, as it can be difficult to properly cut through the tough skin. Most pineapples have a yellow flesh that is super sweet in flavor. Pineapples have leaves coming out of the top, which is called a crown, and it is not meant for eating. 

Growing Pineapples

The best environment for pineapples to grow in are warm areas. Therefore, pineapples grow in tropical or subtropical places. Originally, pineapples grew in South America. Still, most of them grow in Southeast Asia today, particularly in the Philippines and Thailand, which produces the most pineapples worldwide. Hawaii and Costa Rica are also known for growing some of the freshest pineapples in the world. 

Pineapples do not grow on trees. Instead, they grow from leafy pineapple plants that are rooted in the ground. Unlike other fruit, you do not need seeds to grow a pineapple. In fact, if you want to grow your own pineapple, you can just twist the crown of a pineapple and plant it into the ground. However, you will need some patience for this as it can take up to three years for a pineapple to grow and be ripe enough to eat. Also, you will need several crowns because one pineapple plant only makes one pineapple every two years. 

Pineapple Types

There are more than 30 different types of pineapples that is grown all over the world, each of them has its own taste and appearance. These varieties are divided into four groups:, Abacaxi, Queen, Smooth Cayenne, and the Red Spanish. 

  • Queen pineapples – They are the most popular pineapple in Africa. They are yellow and are not as sweet compared to other types of pineapples. They have a pleasant aroma and flavor, but it doesn’t preserve that well because they are meant to be eaten fresh. Queen pineapples are known to be tolerant to cold temperatures and diseases compared to other types of pineapples.
  • Red Spanish pineapple – This type of pineapple have orange-red skin, yellow flesh and can weigh between three and six pounds. These pineapples are mostly grown in Central America and the Caribbean. They have high fiber content, but their flesh is not as tender compared to other pineapple varieties. 
  • Abacaxi pineapples – Also known as Sugarloaf pineapples, Abacaxxi comes from Venezuela and Mexico. They have white, juicy, and sweet flesh, and they can be quite resistant to several diseases. Abacaxi pineapple plants can grow up to five feet high, and the fruit can weigh up anywhere from two to eleven pounds. They taste delicious, but they do not adapt well when they are commercially produced.
  • Smooth Cayenne pineapples – This type of pineapple has a juicy taste that can be slightly acidic, or sour and sharp-tasting. If you have purchased a pineapple in an American grocery store, it was probably a smooth cayenne pineapple because they are the primary type of pineapple that is grown in Hawaii. The smooth cayenne is slightly bigger in size compared to other varieties, and its fruit can weigh from four to ten pounds. 

Popular Pineapple Varieties

  • Kona Sugarloaf – This pineapple variety belongs to the smooth cayenne pineapple family. It has a white flesh along with an unusually sweet and delicious taste. It has high sugar content, and its core is not woody, but instead, they are tender and completely edible.
  • Mordilona – This pineapple variety is mostly grown in the northeastern part of Colombia and Venezuela. They have an irregular, large, and cylindrical shape along with a yellow to orange skin. The flesh of the Mordilona pineapple is creamy and sweet. 
  • Brecheche – This pineapple variety has a small and cylindrical appearance. Its skin is entirely spike-free, and it has a yellow and very fragrant flesh along with a small juicy core. 
  • Singapore red – Singapore is a pineapple variety that has green leaves along with a reddish stripe on its end. The pineapple fruit is small, reddish, cylindrical, along with golden yellow flesh. This pineapple plant varieties are pest and disease-resistant. Plus, they hold up their taste and shape well, even when they are canned. 
  • Panare – This pineapple variety is named after the Indian tribe, who first cultivated it in Venezuela. It has an orange-colored and bottle-shaped fruit along with a deep yellow flesh that has a small core.

Fun Facts About Pineapples

Christopher Columbus is credited for discovering North America. However, the new land isn’t all that he found while on his trip. A year after he arrived, he found pineapples on a Caribbean island. Later, during colonial times, pineapples were considered an exceptional treat that was eaten on special occasions. Since pineapples take so long to grow, they were expensive and hard to find. American colonists considered pineapples to be luxurious treat because during that time, they are quite rare and they can be pretty expensive. 

Pineapples have had a real influence on Hawaiian culture, particularly in some commonly used Hawaiian phrases. When Hawaiians say pineapple juice, they aren’t necessarily talking about the beverage. Instead, Hawaiians refer to rain on a sunny day as pineapple juice.