PINEAPPLE THE CROWN FRUIT
The natives of southern Brazil and Paraguay spread the pineapple throughout South America, and it eventually reached the Caribbean. Columbus discovered it in the Indies and brought it back with him to Europe. The Spanish introduced it into the Philippines, Hawaii and Guam. The pineapple was introduced to Hawaii in 1813; exports of canned pineapples began in 1892. Large scale pineapple cultivation by U.S. companies began in the early 1900s in Hawaii. Among the most famous and influential pineapple industrialists was James Dole, who started a pineapple plantation in Hawaii in the year 1900, which continues to this day.
Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which breaks down protein so it is a good tenderizer of meats and since its sweetness goes well with white meats it is a good ingredient in marinades for pork or poultry.
ENGLISH NAME: Pineapple
LOCAL NAMES: Piña, Ananas, Abacaxi (Brazil)
PRODUCTS: Canned pineapple, Pineapple marmalade, Dry pineapple rings
NUTRIENTS: Pineapple is a good source of manganese, as well as Vitamin C and Vitamin B1; it is also a good source of dietary fiber. The following link will give you detailed nutrition information: Pineapple Nutrients
PROCESSING: Processing Pineapple is about cutting the skin off and the heart out. The following link is the best I have seen: Processing Pineapples
STORING: Pineapple can stay green at room temperature for many days and then suddenly ripen in 24 hours so you better watch your pineapples when storing it at room temperature.
PINEAPPLE FLAN: one of the most exquisite desserts in Latin America. Prepare caramel coating by cooking in a pan 1 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of water until golden, carefully pour into a mold and move it to coat bottom and sides, let caramel coating cool completely. Take 2 ripe pineapples, process them discarding the skin but keeping the heart, cut pineapples in chunks and liquefy in batches through a blender add a little water to facilitate, strain to get as much liquid as possible and discard fibers, you should get about 1 liter (4 cups) of filtered pineapple juice, add 1 cup of white sugar and cook in a pan to reduce volume by half, you should get about 2 1/2 cups of pineapple syrup, let cool completely and blend thoroughly with 8 eggs and 1 teaspoon of corn starch, pour this mixture into the caramelized mold; cook covered in Bain Marie in 400F oven or stove top, until flan sets (an inserted knife comes out clean), about 2 hours. Let cool completely before taking out of the mold. For visual effect you may use some thin slices of pineapple without the heart to place at bottom of your mold while caramel is still hot, when you take out your flan from the mold by inverting it on a platter the slices will show on top.