The pineapple is a staple of tons of different meals – and is a fruit that’s practically synonymous with Summertime and warmth!
This delicious tropical fruit is a fan favorite in many places around the world. If you’ve ever had one, it’s not too difficult to understand why. Juicy, sweet, and a whole lot of fun, they’re a great way to bring some sweetness to just about any dish.
A Popular Fruit
Commonly found in tropical areas, the pineapple fruit is one that can’t be missed. With its unique prickly outside and “tufted” stem of leaves, pineapples usually grow to between 3.3-4.9 feet tall.
The prickly shoots that surround the fruit itself are often referred to as “suckers.” Typically, these suckers can actually be removed from the pineapple to produce another pineapple in a process called propagation.
Another fun fact about the pineapple? Though they’re referred to as fruits, pineapples are actually large berries that appear on the flowering pineapple plant!
Keeping Hummingbirds Happy
Hummingbirds are the main pollinators of these delicious tropical plants, especially when it comes to those pineapples planted in commercial farms. However, wild pineapples are sometimes pollinated by bats during the nighttime.
The Evolution of the Modern Pineapple
Though very little is known about the domestication of the pineapple, it is thought that the natives of southern Brazil spread the pineapple across South America. After explorers came to South America, they brought the pineapple back to Europe.
Due to so much movement across the world, there are 37 varieties of pineapple that can be broken into four groups:
- Smooth Cayenne, typically grown in Hawaii
- Red Spanish, an orange-red version of the typical pineapple
- Queen, a South African and Australian variant
- Abacaxi, one of the sweetest and most disease-resistant varieties
Sweet to the Taste
Pineapples are typically very sweet to the taste, and may even be a little bit sour in some circumstances. Some people will have a slight allergic reaction that involves itchiness of the mouth after consuming the fruit.
The Classic Dessert
Though pineapple is used in a variety of dishes, one of the most famous is the pineapple upside-down cake.
This classic dessert originated in 1911, after the invention of the machine that could cut pineapples into the rings that are commonly found on the cake portion of this dish.
A Funny Fruit
The pineapple has certainly seen its place in pop culture. Fans of the Nickelodeon show “Spongebob Squarepants” will be familiar with the fruit, as it’s used as the main character’s house throughout the series.
In addition to a variety of culinary uses, the pineapple has historically been used in luxury textiles. In fact, the long leaves of the Red Spanish variety were frequently used in 18th and 19th-century European fabrics. Usually, the tips of these leaves would be woven into lace and used for things like handkerchiefs.
The Perfect Tropical Fruit
Great in drinks and in a variety of dishes, this tropical fruit is one that’s gained popularity all over the world. The pineapple has certainly been a fan favorite since its spread across the world and continues to be widely loved.