Facts About Pineapples
The pineapple plant is a tropical fruit that is indigenous to South America.
Originally coming from the area between southern Brazil and Paraguay.
The pineapple spread throughout South America, the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico, where it was cultivated by the Mayas and the Aztecs.
Columbus came across the pineapple in 1493 and took it back to Europe.
The word 'pineapple' was recorded in 1398 to describe 'pine cones'.
It was not until 1694 that pine cones were first called pine cones.
On arrival to the Americas, European explorers called the tropical fruit pineapples around 1664 because they resembled the pine cone.
An individual pineapple can take over two years to grow, although they are usually picked slightly earlier than this.
The most famous pineapple entrepreneur was James Dole who moved to Hawaii and started a pineapple plantation in 1900, just after John Kidwell first introduced a pineapple industry to Hawaii.
'Dole' is still a major company in the pineapple industry today.
The top of a pineapple, after cleaning and drying, can be planted in soil and a new plant will grow.
When growing its fruit the pineapple plant produces over 200 flowers varying in color from lavender, through to light purple and red.
The individual scale like fruits of these flowers then join together to create the pineapple.
The individual fruit segments of a pineapple interlock in two helices, 8 in one direction, 13 in the other, each of which is a Fibonacci number.
Pineapple flesh and juice is used in many cuisines throughout the world, it is often cooked, eaten raw or canned in its juices as chunks or cored slices.
It is a commonly used fruit for fruit salads and eaten with dairy desserts such as ice cream and yogurt.
It is also used in Asian stir fry's such as sweet and sour pork or as a topping on pizzas such as the Hawaiian pizza.
Most tropical countries sell pineapple on roadsides as a snack either whole or halved.
Pineapple juice is also a popular tropical drink and it is the main ingredient in the Piña colada cocktail.
The skins, core and ends of a pineapple are not discarded in pineapple canneries but instead used to make a number of products such as vinegar, alcohol and animal food.
Raw pineapple can be a great source of manganese and vitamin C.
Also bromelain is an enzyme that breaks down protein and is present in raw pineapple making the fruit useful as a digestive aid and an effective anti-inflammatory.
High bromelain content also makes raw pineapple juice helpful as a meat marinade and tenderizer.
As of 2009, the Southeast Asian countries of the Philippines and Thailand were the top two producers of pineapple in the world followed by Costa Rica.
All facts were taken from http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/food/pineapples.html