Pineapple – A couple of fruits, I have started enjoying after getting married. :) Strawberry and Pineapple are such two fruits. I used to like pineapple mainly in the form of pineapple pastry, I cherished memories of biting into pineapple pastry for that just one tiny bit of pineapple topping. Memories are becoming more and more precious to me as the years are going by. Some days I feel there are fewer memories to cherish from my young adulthood than the ones I made as a child, even as a teenager.
One of the rare fruits that are eaten in all forms and in all flavors is Pineapple. It is eaten raw, boiled, baked, cooked, or preserved in foods tasting sweet, savory, or tangy as a dip or to add flavor to a recipe.
I see myself turning into a melancholy, old, emotional woman for my grand kids.
Till then let’s enjoy this photostory where I have tried to capture pineapple for its majestic leaves, its depth and all it’s thorns and imperfections.
How it looks: The pineapple fruit comes with a sharp bunch of green leaves closely knit in a rosette on top and hard greenish-yellow skin on the fruit’s outer shell. The fruit is the fleshy part inside the hard shell which is yellow, juicy, and fleshy.
What is the best season: The harvest season for pineapple is from April to September in the US and other countries. In India, the main harvest season is from July to December. The fruit takes 18 to 24 months to grow fully to be ready for harvest.
How to choose: The outer cover of the pineapple makes it very difficult to find out if the fruit has ripened enough to taste good. Some pointers to look out for can be:
- Try pulling one of the green leaves on top of the fruit, if it pulls off easily it is ripe. Also, these fronds (green leaves) should be green and vibrant, not withered and dry, indicating their freshness.
- Check for the color of the fruit’s outer skin, the yellower it is the riper the fruit is.
- Gently press the skin of the pineapple, if it feels soft the pineapple is ready to have.
- When you smell the yellowish skin, it should give a fruity, sweet smell, indicating it’s good to have that fruit.
- One can feel the weight of a pineapple, if it feels heavier, it is a pulpy, ripe fruit.
Why to eat: Pineapples have anti-inflammatory properties that help to recover from a strenuous workout, improve immunity or recover from surgery. The digestive enzymes in it aid in breaking complex proteins of heavy food items. The antioxidants keep diabetes, heart disease, and cancer at bay.
Where to find: Pineapple is a tropical fruit that grows well in moderate temperatures and humid weather conditions. Countries with long coastal belts have favorable weather for the fruit to grow. Thailand, Latin America, the Philippines, and Hawaii are some of the major producers of pineapple.
When to eat: The best time to eat pineapples is either on an empty stomach or between meals. Eating pineapples immediately after meals is not recommended. Fruits eaten on an empty stomach are best digested.
How to eat: Pineapple can be eaten in a number of ways once we cut the outer skin of the fruit which is an effort in itself. The center core of the fruit is to be removed as it is hard and fibrous to chew. The versatility of ways we can have pineapple makes it a good option to add to many preparations. Pineapples can be eaten raw, baked, or cooked in many desserts and main course savory recipes. Pineapple juice is a famous juice flavor. Pineapple-flavored cakes, drinks, and starters are loved alike. Pineapples are also preserved in sugar syrup to be used when fresh ones are not available. There is a divided opinion about adding pineapples as toppings for pizzas.
What Ayurveda says: Benefits of fruit as per Ayurveda include the removal of intestinal worms when unripe pineapple fresh juice is consumed. Fresh and ripe cut fruit and juice help to cure symptoms of fever, jaundice, and constipation. The fruit improves cardiac health by strengthening the heart which results in improved cardiac rhythm.
Lifespan: Freshly cut whole pineapple can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days without cutting in pieces further. Once cut into pieces the fruit has to be stored in an airtight container and consumed within a week when kept refrigerated. Cut cubes in zip lock plastics can be stored in the freezer for 6 months. Market-bought canned pieces of pineapple have a life of a year.
Amazing Facts: A pineapple doesn’t ripe once it is plucked from the plant, so if you find all green pineapples the chances of it ripening are very less. The crown of the pineapple which has a bunch of leaves can be cut intact and planted to grow a pineapple tree from it.