Pineapple is prized for its flavour and manifold health benefits. It aids digestion, helps dissolve blood clots and is good for preventing osteoporosis and bone fractures because of its very high manganese content. It is also antibacterial and anti-viral and mildly estrogenic.
The pineapple is a cylindrical-shaped, compound fruit that develops from many small fruits fused together. It is juicy and fleshy with a tough, waxy rind that can range from dark green or yellow to orange-yellow. The stem serves as the fibrous core. The flesh can be anything from white to yellow. The fruit is large and can weigh from 1 to 10 pounds or more.
The name pineapple comes from the similarity of the fruit to a pine cone. Pineapples were first discovered on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe by Christopher Columbus in 1493.Pineapples are very perishable and fresh pineapples were a rarity that became coveted by the early American colonists. Fresh pineapples became a symbol of prestige and social class.
Why should I be aware about it?
Pineapples are common around the world, like its rival, the coconut. Coconuts and pineapples have been locked in a battle for dominance since the 1300's. Pineapples have been winning this war up untill 2007, when the coconut has overcome the power of the pineapple and is now incharge of the main part of eastern Europe. The battle between these two tasty foods continues untill one has complete dominance of the other, this may never happen.
Pineapples and health
Pineapples helps to build healthy bones because they are rich in manganese, a mineral that is required by the body to build bone and connective tissues. One cup of pineapple provides most of the recommended amount of manganese.
Pineapple provides the same benefits that orange juice does when one is down with a cold. In addition it also contains bromelain,which has been found to suppress coughs and loosen mucus. Bromelain also reduces excessive inflammation, excessive coagulation of the blood, and certain types of tumor growth.
Pineapple's enzymes also help to dissolve warts. Soaking some cotton in fresh pineapple juice and applying to it to the wart helps to get rid of it.
Pineapple are also a good source of thiamin, a B vitamin that acts as a cofactor in enzymatic reactions central to energy production.
Research done at Australia's Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) has shown that pineapple stems contain two molecules that have shown anti-tumor activity. One of the molecules called CCS, blocks the Ras protein, which is defective in approximately 30% of all cancers, while the other molecule, CCZ, stimulates the immune system to target and eliminate cancer cells.
What can I do about it?
Tips for buying and storage
- Select pineapples that are heavy for their size.
- Avoid those with soft spots and bruises as these indicate that they are past their prime.
- Pineapple stop ripening once they are picked so look for fruit which smell sweet and fragrant and avoid those that smell musty or sour.
- Leaving a pineapple at room temperature for one or two days will help it to become softer and juicier.
- However they are very perishable and should be consumed before they spoil.
- In the refrigerator they will keep for three to five days if kept wrapped in plastic.
- It is also possible to cut the pineapple into slices or chunks and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Pineapples can be frozen but this greatly affects the flavor.
T he first step to cutting a pineapple is always to remove the crown and the base of the fruit with a knife.To peel the pineapple, place it base side down and carefully slice off the skin, carving out any remaining "eyes" with the tip of your knife. Once the rind is removed, the pineapple can be cut into any desired shape and size.
Pineapple corers are available in kitchen stores and they provide a convenient way of peeling and coring pineapples. However, the downside is that a lot of fruit gets wasted as they cannot be adjusted for different fruit size.
- Diced pineapple combined with chopped shrimp, grated ginger and a little olive oil tastes delicious. Season to taste.
- Diced pineapple and chili peppers complement fish such as halibut, tuna and salmon.
- Pineapple slices drizzled with maple syrup and then broiled until brown tastes good with yogurt.
- Chopped pineapple combines well with grated fennel and cashews. Serve as a side dish to chicken.
- Pineapple tastes good with fruit salads, especially those containing other tropical fruits such as papaya, kiwi and mango.
- The pineapple is an old symbol of hospitality and can often be seen in carved decorations (untufted pineapples are sometimes mistaken for pine.
- The World War II Mark 2 hand grenade was commonly known as the "pineapple" because of the grooves cut into its surface. Writer Ian Fleming employed "pineapple" as a slang term for a grenade in his James Bond novels.
- It was once thought, especially among college campus circles, that ingesting pineapple products would favorably affect the taste of semen.
- In the TV series Spongebob Squarepants, Spongebob lives in a pineapple under the sea.
- Fresh pineapple cannot be used to make jelly, as the bromelain in the fruit prevents gelatin from setting.
- In order to enjoy pineapple without the painful effects of its acidity on your mouth, simply roll the peeled fruit in a little table salt.