Scientific Binomial Name:
One of the most prized and popular fruits, pineapple or "ananas" has an interesting history to narrate. The ananas plant is actually native to Paraguay in South America. It spread by the local Indians up through South and Central America and to the West Indies. Later, it was brought to Spain when Columbus discovered Americas' in 1493, from where; it spread to rest of the world by the sailors (just like tomatoes) who carried it for protection from scurvy wherever they went.
Pineapple is a tropical, perennial, drought-tolerant plant that grows up to 5-8 ft in height and spreads around about three to four ft. It is essentially a short, stout stem with a rosette of waxy long, needle-tipped leaves.
Selection, Usage and Storage Information
Selection: While buying, choose those that are heavy for their size. While larger fruits will have a greater proportion of edible flesh, there is usually no difference in quality between a small and large-size pineapple.
Choose fruit that should be free of soft spots, mold, bruises and darkened "eyes," all of which may indicate that the fruit is past its prime
Usage: Pineapple can be cut and peeled in many ways. Usually, the crown and the base of the fruit are chopped off with a knife. Then, to peel the fruit, place its 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, cut the fruit into your desirable sizes.
Storage: Since they chill sensitive and cannot be stored in the refrigerator for long periods, better use as early as possible. However, if not readily eaten you may place the ripe fruit in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, for later use.
Avoid: Avoid those that smell musty, sour or fermented.
Seasonal Information: Pineapple or ananas season lasts from March until June when fresh fruits available in the markets at their best.
Pineapple fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain.