If you made a list of all the inappropriately-named fruits in the world, pineapples would perhaps rank at the top. These fruits neither come from the pine tree nor have anything to do with apples and are still called pineapples. These exotic, tropical fruits have many hidden secrets that you couldn’t possibly know.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of amazing facts about Pineapple. You’ll learn all sorts of interesting things about pineapples, like where they come from and how they’re harvested. So put on your learning cap and get ready to learn about this delicious fruit.
1. Pineapples have no relation to apples whatsoever
Every time you hear the term pineapple, doesn’t it make you think that this fruit would somehow be related to apples? Well, we hate to disappoint you, but these fruits have no link to each other besides their name.
In fact, they don’t even belong to the same category of fruits; apples are a pome, while pineapples are a berry! Looks like names could be deceiving after all.
2. Pineapples originated in South America
Yet another difference between apples and pineapples is that while the former had originated in Central Asia and came to the Americas much later, the latter is endemic to America itself.
Pineapples were first found in the rainforests of Brazil by the native Americans, who then started cultivating these fruits for consumption. The unique appearance and tropical taste of these fruits quickly gained popularity throughout the Americas.
3. Pineapples were first introduced in Europe in the 16th century by Christopher Columbus
Although pineapples have been cultivated in the tropical regions of Central and South America for centuries, their arrival in other continents is relatively recent.
In Europe, these fruits first appeared in the 1500s. But if you believe they started growing there naturally, you’re wrong. Pineapples’ introduction to Europe wasn’t natural; these fruits were brought here (to Spain, more specifically) by the great Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus.
4. Pineapples don’t ripen after they’ve been plucked
Have you brought home a pineapple that’s slightly sour and are waiting a couple of days for it to ripen? Well, we hate to break it to you, but the fruit isn’t getting any sweeter.
All fruits are categorized into two groups based on their ripening traits. Those that continue to ripen after being plucked from their tree are called climacteric fruits, while those that don’t are non-climacteric fruits.
The pineapples belong to the latter category, which is why there’s no scope for change in their taste after being plucked. So, leaving it outside the refrigerator longer will only result in its rotting, not ripening.
5. The Philippines is the leading pineapple-producing country in the world
Pineapples are produced in over 80 different countries of the world. And among all these countries, the Philippines ranks first as the largest pineapple-producing country. It is followed closely by Costa Rica, Brazil, and Indonesia.
6. There are over 30 different pineapple varieties grown all over the world
We just talked about pineapples being cultivated in over 80 countries. When any fruit is cultivated that widely, it is bound to show diversity in terms of shape, size, and flavor. As a result, there are over 30 different pineapple varieties grown and consumed all over the world.
Some of the most popular pineapple varieties include Cayenne Pineapples, Red Spanish Pineapples, Abacaxi pineapples, Queen pineapples, and Singapore Red Pineapples.
7. The Antigua Black Pineapples are the sweetest pineapple variety in the world
Named after the country they’re cultivated in, the Antigua Black Pineapples are the sweetest pineapple variety in the world. The secret of their sweet taste lies in the environmental conditions that they grow in.
These fruits are cultivated on the southwest coast of Antigua island, and the specific soil type of the area, in addition to ample rainfall, contributes to its delicious taste.
8. The Kona Sugarloaf Pineapples have an edible core!
If you’ve sliced a pineapple by yourself or seen someone do it, you’d have noticed how its inner core is usually left aside. This is because it has a harder, fibrous structure and tastes slightly bitter in comparison to the rest of the flesh.
However, not all pineapples have cores that are best left aside. The Kona Sugarloaf Pineapples, also referred to as the Brazilian White Pineapples, is a fine example of a pineapple whose core is just as juicy and sweet as its flesh and can easily be eaten.
9. Each pineapple plant produces only a single pineapple every season
An average of 300 apples can grow on a single tree per season; among the banana trees, this number generally ranges between 200-240. However, pineapples are quite extraordinary in this regard.
These tropical fruits grow on unique plants that are capable of producing only a single fruit per season! If all fruit-producing trees functioned in the same manner, wouldn’t we be living in a fruit crisis?
10. Pineapple has an enzyme that can be used as a meat tenderizer!
Did you know that there are other uses of pineapples besides eating? If you enjoy eating tender meat, you can also use the juice (homemade) or pulp of these fruits to tenderize meat before cooking it.
But how can a fruit tenderize meat? It is the presence of Bromelain, an enzyme occurring naturally in both pineapple plants and their fruits. Bromelain has many uses, and while most of them are medicinal in nature, tenderizing meat is also one of them.
11. The leaves of pineapple plants are used to make clothes
Have you noticed how thick and fibrous the crown of pineapples is? The leaves of their plants are similar, only larger in size.
You’ll be surprised to learn that the fibers extracted from these thick, spikey leaves can also be used to make a cloth fabric called pina (after the Spanish name of these fruits)!
12. Pineapples are widely seen as a symbol of hospitality
The pineapples that are easily available in most parts of the world it wasn’t always like this.
There was a time when they were one of the most exotic and priciest fruits, which is why people only served them to their most honored guests. Because of this tradition, pineapples came to be seen as symbolic of hospitality.
13. The heaviest Pineapple in the world weighed 17 pounds!
You might already know this, but the average weight of a pineapple fruit is about two pounds (0.9 kilograms). But did you know that the weight of the heaviest Pineapple in the world is roughly 8 times that of an average pineapple?
Yes, it’s true. The Guinness World Record for the heaviest Pineapple in the world was set at 17.7 pounds (8.06 kilograms)! This Pineapple was grown in a village in Papua New Guinea by a man named E. Kamuk.
14. The most expensive Pineapple is sold at £1,000 per slice
As far as expensive fruits are concerned, pineapples fall quite low on the list. You can buy 1 kilogram of these tropical fruits for just 70 cents! But did you know that a special batch of pineapples cultivated in Cornwall, UK, costs £1,000 per slice?!
Yes, you’ve read that right. A team of expert horticulturists has been growing a batch of pineapple plants for years in the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall.
But what’s so special about these fruits, you ask? Well, they’ve created special wooden pits to grow the plants inside to lend them the warmth they need to fruit well. They’re also nourished with horse manure and piss.
It takes each plant two years (double the time other pineapple plants take) to grow a single fruit. But when the fruit is ripe, its taste is the testimony of all the effort that went into growing them. Those who have tasted it claim that it had an explosive flavor. The price of one whole Pineapple from this batch is £10,000, which is equivalent to $11,497.
15. You can use the pineapple crown to grow a new pineapple plant
Have you heard of vegetative propagation before? It is a process in which any part of a plant, be it the stem, root, or leaves, can be used to grow a new plant.
If you’d ever want to grow a pineapple plant in your garden or as a houseplant, all you need to do is buy a fruit, cut off its crown, put it into a large glass of water, and store it in a warm corner of your house for about 4-5 weeks.
16. Hawaii is the only pineapple-producing state in the United States
Although pineapples originated in the tropical forests of South America, the weather of the United States isn’t well-suited for these fruits. For this reason, pineapples are not grown anywhere in the country except for the islands of Hawaii.
17. The Hawaiians call pineapples hala kahiki!
Considering the fact that pineapples are grown only in Hawaii within the United States, it’s only reasonable for the Hawaiians to give these fruits their own name. They’re called hala kahiki in the Hawaiian language.
18. The Hala fruits look somewhat like pineapples
The hala in the Hawaiian name of pineapples is taken from another fruit, the Hala fruit, which is endemic to Australia. But why do these fruits have a share name? Because of the similarities in their appearance.
Because of their fibrous outer husk and all the various wedge-like carpels, the natives call these fruits pineapple mutants.
19. The world’s largest maze has Pineapple in the center!
If you think mazes are fun, you must visit Dole Plantation’s Pineapple Maze Garden in Oahu, Hawaii. Before you ask us what’s so special about it, here’s the answer:
This maze garden has set the world record for the largest maze in the world, not just once but twice! The first time in 2001, and then again in 2008 after its expansion.
The sprawling garden spreads over three acres and consists of over 14,000 different Hawaiian plants, including hibiscuses, heliconias, and pineapples. The center of the maze is also shaped like a large pineapple!
20. The people of the Caribbean have strange traditions attached to pineapples
Pineapples hold a special place in the hearts of all the Caribbean people, so much so that they’ve created various traditions around them. One such tradition includes placing pineapple crowns in front of one’s house as a symbol of friendship and hospitality.
Another tradition, which you might find weird, is observed as a rite of manhood, wherein a young man must run through pineapple plantings barefoot to prove their masculinity.
21. Pineapples are the key ingredients in the Pina Colada cocktail
Did you know that one of the most popular cocktails in the world, the pina colada, uses pineapples as its main ingredient?
Originating in Puerto Rico, this white rum-based cocktail is incomplete with pineapples, as is evident from the name itself (pina is Spanish for pineapples).
22. James Dole was nicknamed the pineapple king!
James Dole was the businessman who was nicknamed the pineapple king, and for a good reason. He established the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (HAPCO) in 1901.
His company was later renamed Dole Food Company and currently operates in over 90 countries of the world, including the United States.
23. Pineapples are the national fruit of Antigua and Barbuda
Although the island country of Antigua and Barbuda doesn’t lead the global production of pineapples, they’ve declared them as their national fruit.
To be more specific, black pineapples are their national fruit. This pineapple variety, which grows only within the country, is popular globally for its sweet taste and flavor.
24. June 27th is celebrated as International Pineapple Day
Aside from being an exotic fruit with a high nutritional value, pineapples are also valuable in the hospitality and textile industries. It is only sensible to have a separate day dedicated to these fruits, which is why June 27th is celebrated as International Pineapple Day.
Summing it up
And there you have it. If you love pineapples, as we do, hopefully, you found this article to be both fun and informative. Hopefully, you will pass along some of these facts to your friends and family at work so that they can also know about these interesting facts about pineapples. And if any more spring to mind, don’t hesitate to send them our way. We’d love to add them to this list.
Have a wonderful day!