6/19/2017

Pineapple



Pineapple  is one of the most popular and delicious of fruits. The pineapple was domesticated in pre Columbian times in South America.  The Spanish explorers named it pina because of its resemblance to a pine cone.  Pineapple is grown throughout the tropics and sub-tropics and farming it is a large industry. Each fruit is actually a multiple fruit, formed from joining of hundreds of flowers.  They are born on the stem and grow a rosette of long, spiny leaves.    

Serve fresh pineapples flesh in slices, wedges or chunks, add it to fruit salad, tarts, savory salads and cake.  Puree it to make drinks, ice cream and sorbets. Cook it with meats such as ham, chicken or pork. it is also available in cans, dried and glace. There are many suggestions for serving pineapples, but the simplest way is to  cut off the spiky top and base and then slice it into rings, whose outside skin and inner core can then be removed with a sharp knife.  


For a centerpiece, large pineapples can be used as serving containers for fruit salads and drinks, but this involves much more careful preparation, including removing the top as a lid and removing the edible flesh without damaging the skin.   



Buying and storing

  • Select plump, heavy fruits with fresh green crown,leaves, a fragrant aroma and a very slight separation of the eyes.
  • An easily removed crown leaf is not a sure indication of ripeness. Though the shell turns yellow with time, pineapple do not ripen after they are harvested.
  • To test for ripeness, gently pull out one of the bottom leaves; it should come out easily. Avoid lifeless –looking bruised or withered fruit with browning leaves.
  • Use the fruit as soon as possible after purchase.
  • Do not store whole pineapples in the fridge, although peeled, sliced or cubed pineapples can be chilled in an airtight container for up to three days.

COOKING
Pineapples contains bromelin, an enzyme that breaks down protein (similar to papain in papaya). this means that meat that is marinated in fresh pineapple juice will fall apart if left for too long.

Also if pineapple is added to gelatine, such as in jellies, the bromelin will prevent the gelatine from setting. Bromelin is destroyed by heating, so cooked or tinned pineapple or pasteurized pineapple juice can be added to gelatine with no detrimental effects.

Pineapples are available all year round. Pineapples are a good source of vitamin C. 

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