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Monday, 27 February 2017

Pineapple

HISTORY

Pineapples originally evolved in the high plateaux of central South America and were widely transplanted and cultivated. Highly regarded for their intense sweetness, the fruit was a staple of Indian feasts and rites related to tribal affirmation. They were also used by the Indians to produce wine.

A pineapple on its parent plant by Suniltg at Malayalam Wikipedia 

The natives of southern Brazil and Paraguay spread the pineapple throughout South America, and it eventually reached the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico, where it was cultivated by the Mayas and the Aztecs.

Pineapples were unknown to Europeans until discovered by Columbus on Guadeloupe in 1493.

Pineapples were brought home to Europe from America by 16th and 17th century seafarers as gifts.

In 17th century Europe the pineapple remains so uncommon and coveted a commodity that in 1675 King Charles II of England posed for an official portrait receiving a pineapple as a gift, an act symbolic of royal privilege.

Charles II is presented with the first pineapple grown in England (painting by Hendrik Danckerts).

A woman named Agnes Block is generally credited as being the earliest person that managed to grow a pineapple in a non-tropical climate in around 1687. While earlier accounts of fruit producing pineapple plants in Europe do exist, whether or not these plants were cultivated in Europe or simply transferred to the continent as juveniles isn’t clear.

The pineapple was a symbol of welcome in colonial America. That is why in New England you will see so many pineapples on door knockers. An arch in Providence RI leading into the Federal Hill neighborhood has a pineapple on it for that very reason.

In the American colonies in the 1700s, one pineapple could cost as much as $8,000 in today’s dollars. Some colonists would rent a pineapple and carry it around a party to flout their wealth.

Victorians grew the fruit by burying them in a manure-covered trench that they soaked in horse urine.

James Howard Dole founded the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1901 and became known as The Pineapple King.

FUN PINEAPPLE FACTS

The pineapple is neither a pine nor an apple. The name was given to it by early European settlers in America who thought it looked like a pine cone.



The pineapple consists of coalesced berries, which have coalesced into a large, compact, multiple fruit.

Hawaii was historically the largest pineapple producer. The biggest today are Costa Rica with 11% of global production in 2014, followed closely by Brazil.

If you put a piece of pineapple somewhere in your mouth it starts "eating you". It has proteins that degrades meat.

Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that may help arthritis pain by easing inflammation.

Pineapple juice mixed with sand is said to be good for cleaning boat decks and machete blades.


In Australian slang, “to get the wrong (or rough) end of the pineapple,” means to get a bad deal.

In the 1930s in Britain, "being on the pineapple" became a slang phrase for being unemployed.

In December 2014 a boy named Grayson is said to have set a world record in Florida by popping 10 balloons with a pineapple in 30 seconds.

Sources Daily Mail, Daily Express, Food for Thought by Ed Pearce

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