ripening, as they do not carry a starch reserve. When
you see one in the store, it is as ripe as it ever will be.
Look for green leaves, and avoid pineapples with
bruising and dark spots on the body. A firmer shell
indicates freshness as well. Coloration is not a sign of
ripeness or freshness. Larger pineapples contain a
higher proportion of edible meat.
“A strong scent of sweetness is a good indication that the fruit inside will be sweet as well,” says
William Goldfield, communications director at
Dole Food Company.
Prepping: a few steps
Getting into the meat of this delicious and
nutritious fruit is actually a snap. The trick is to
learn a few cutting techniques that allow you to
cut into the fruit without sacrificing too much of
its meat or accidentally leaving on a thorn (ouch!).
See the sidebar for tips.
A versatile food
Sweet and simple, pineapples leave nothing to be
desired. Whether you’re eating them solo, grilling
them alongside delicious barbecue, adding them to a
refreshing cocktail or just marinating a culinary masterpiece with pineapple juice, the taste of sunshine
delights the palate.
“[Pineapple’s] an easy fruit and it’s very versatile,”
says Raul Romero, president and COO of Chestnut
Hill Farms. “We like to dip [chunks of pineapple] in
chocolate, like fondue.”
Good for the body
Pineapple is a great addition to your diet to help
you stay healthy. Beyond its sweet taste and versatility,
pineapple nourishes and protects the body in unique
ways. Bromelain is an enzyme found only in pineapple. Prized for its anti-inflammatory properties, bromelain is effective for sports injuries and acute
swelling, but also is used to treat osteoarthritis. And
ongoing research indicates that bromelain may possess cancer-preventing or -fighting qualities.
Vitamin C is also prevalent in the spiny fruit, and
plays a role in helping you stave off disease. The high
manganese content promotes healthier skin and
fights free radicals.
Pineapples may look intimidating, but underneath the skin lies paradise. I, for one, am packing my
Peter Sacotte is an intern at The Costco Connection.
Look for whole, fresh pineapples
in the produce section of your
A how-to guide to fresh pineapple
How to cut
Cut it into
Core it and peel
By Peter Sacotte
PINEAPPLES ARE A universal sign of hospitality and friendship, and have been since
Europeans were first introduced
to the exotic fruit when they
came to the Americas. When
looking at a pineapple,
I don’t see anything hospitable or friendly about
it; the armored exterior
can be a little intimidating. But taking time to
prepare a fresh pineapple
is well worth the effort.
How they’re grown
With their rich,
fibrous texture and sweet
taste, pineapples are truly a
reflection of the tropical
paradises in which they’re
grown. Tropical climates
produce the best pineapples,
Growing a pineapple can take between 12 and 20
months. There are no seeds, so planting begins by
planting crowns, the leafy green tops of the pineapples
that are removed from the pineapples in the previous
year’s crop. Slips and suckers, offshoots of the plant
that grow out of the base of the fruit and between the
leaves, can also be used to plant crops. Pineapple
plants grow vertically, with the fruit itself growing at
the top of a stalk, just like a flower bud. Each plant
yields one pineapple in the first crop. The second crop,
called “first ratoon” (from the Spanish retoñar, “to
sprout”) yields significantly fewer pineapples and signals the need to replant the entire field.
Picking the perfect pineapple
When choosing a pineapple, look for freshness
and size. As soon as they’re picked, pineapples stop
Courtesy of Dole Food Company
In our digital editions
Click here to watch a video about
how pineapples are harvested.
(See page 16 for details.)