Pineapple is an awesome and unique fruit. It’s delicious on its own, but we’ve come to love it on a pizza, in a fruit salad, as juice or garnish on a cocktail, and you know pineapple margaritas are the best. But how much do you know about pineapples? They’ve got quite a fascinating history and we bet you’ll be surprised by some of the facts about them.
- Pineapple is native to South America and has been cultivated by the natives before the Europeans arrived and discovered this odd-looking but delicious fruit. Europeans attempted to grow it too but soon figured out that it needs a tropical climate, so they brought it over to their Asian and African colonies.
2. Speaking of cultivating pineapples, did you know that it takes almost 3 years to grow a pineapple fruit? It’s easy to grow the plant, you just need to plant a pineapple leaf to grow a whole plant. But the process of producing and ripening the fruit will take between 18 and 20 months. And one pineapple plant can only produce one pineapple fruit at a time. Think about that next time you complain about the prince of fresh pineapples.
3. The name “pineapple” dates back to the 1660s. The reason it’s called that is because the fruit resembles a pinecone on the outside. Pineapples are quite spiky and well protected on the outside, so we do wonder how people figured out it was edible and so tasty.
4. However, pineapples are only tasty when they’re ripe. When they’re unripe their juices are irritating and very unripe, small pineapples are actually toxic and poisonous. It’s unlikely that you’ll come across such unripe pineapples in the store, but still the riper the better and sweeter it will taste.
5. Pineapple is great for soothing your digestive system and in general, promotes good digestion. It helps relieve bloating and can prevent this problem in general. So if you are experiencing minor digestive issues, eating a portion of pineapple every day can help you out.
6. This yummy tropical fruit is full of vitamins and minerals. Just a few slices of pineapple has more than your required daily amount of vitamin C, which will keep your immune system functioning properly, and will make your skin look healthy and glowing. Pineapple is also rich in Vitamin A, which supports healthy vision.
7. While Vitamin C might be an obvious benefit of pineapple, not a lot of people know that pineapples are also full of manganese, which is a mineral that helps to keep your bones strong and healthy. It can prevent osteoporosis and arthritis.
8. Have you ever seen a pineapple plant? This is how they grow. Isn’t it fascinating? What’s even more interesting is that pineapples produce the most beautiful flowers when they bloom, which can range from red to purple in color. And then they essentially produce little berries that fuse around the core. So a pineapple isn’t technically a fruit, it’s a lot of little fruitlets fused together.
9. A little-known fact is that pineapples don’t ripen after they’re harvested. It’s not like an avocado that you can buy and then just leave it on your windowsill to ripen. Pineapples in the store are as ripe as they’re going to get. So pick a ripe one and eat it within a few days, because they actually aren’t meant to last longer than 3 days at room temperature or a week in the fridge.
10. Many people will argue whether pineapple belongs on pizza. Some think it’s a crime against pizza, others like the freshness and sweetness it adds to their pizza. But whichever camp you belong to, you’ll be interested to find out about how pineapple became such a highly debated pizza topping. The story is way more fascinating than you’ve ever thought.