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Dole knows pineapple

Summer’s most fashionable fruit is also quite versatile, fitting in well with both sweet and savory applications.  The pineapple, neither related to apples nor pine, is cultivated in tropical regions such as Hawaii and Costa Rica.  Although they appear to be one large regal fruit, pineapples are actually the result of the fusion of many individual fruits to a central core resulting covered tough spiny skin.  These spikes are the remaining dried up flowers of each fruit which explorers thought resembled the pine cone. 

Not only visually unique, complete with a crown, from the culinary perspective pineapple is the only known source of bromelain which is an enzyme that functions as a quick meat tenderizer.  It can be used in marinades and is most active in fresh (vs canned) fruit.   Workers on pineapple fields often don’t have fingerprints, which could be caused by this enzyme!   Nutritionally, one cup of pineapple chunks has 82 calories, and is an excellent source of vitamin C. 

Throughout history, pineapple has been was a sign of wealth.  Considered a status symbol during colonial times, they were coveted as very few made the voyage from the Caribbean without rotting.  If you were lucky enough to get one it would surely make its way to a prominent place in your home to welcome honored guests.  Some households went so far as to even “rent” them to make a good impression on visitors. This association made pineapples synonymous with hospitality and are often a common motif used in architecture and design.

Lucky for you, Dole makes it easy to have pineapple in your home year round.  They are harvested at their peak of freshness and already ripe when it gets to your home. You can tell a ripe pineapple by its sweet aroma.  If the leaves pull out easily, then its time to eat. Try Dole’s pineapple carpaccio, it’s a show stopper. 

Did you know?  You can twist off the top of a pineapple, set it in a glass of water and once roots develop plant in dirt and let it grow! It can take up to two years to grow your own single piece of fruit. 

Published August 1st 2019

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