Not only is pineapple the coolest looking herb in the world, it has been the subject of rites of passage in the Caribbean, grows up to 150cm or 4'11" tall, and weighs in over 9kg or 20 pounds. I can't imagine walking through a field of pineapple that large and not panicking that I've somehow stepped through a time portal to the Jurassic era. Nightmares.
I am 6'7" or 2m tall. Yeah, no.
Thankfully, pineapple is also delicious, versatile, and available on 6 continents. My favorite variety comes from Taiwan, the golden diamond. After tasting it first hand a few years ago, it's all I ever want in a pineapple. Dense, golden, sweet, and excellent in any context you can imagine in it. Ok, almost every.
The most important pollinators of pineapple are hummingbirds, though bats also do the job. Hawaii does not have a native hummingbird population, and because of its pineapple industry, has banned their importation.
CUTE, but not cute enough for Hawaii.
Time for pineapple facts from the WISCONSIN dept of public instruction (!?):
Pineapples can weight up to 20 pounds.
Pineapples do not ripen after they have been picked. Caribbean males would run barefoot through pineapple plantings as a rite of manhood. Ouch.
Pineapple crowns were placed outside the entrance to Caribbean homes to symbolize hospitality and friendship. Pineapples contain an enzyme, bromelain, that can be used as a meat tenderizer.
The pineapple plant is actually an herb.
Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C.
A pineapple plant will only produce one pineapple each growing season.
A harvested pineapple is actually a collection of small, individual fruits fused together.
Lovely baby pineapples in a lovely backyard.
The hot sauce we make, Neck Dart, uses over 5 kilograms of pineapple per 30 litres of sauce. Fermented pineapple adds amazing flavor and acidity to the sauce, and acts as a scaffolding to pile on the goodness from the rest of the ingredients list. We also make a version of our sauce that emphasizes pineapple even more, adding 6kg per 30L of sauce.
Pineapple also immediately means TROPICAL
Wherever I am in the world, if I eat a pineapple, drink pineapple juice, or have any number of delicious beverages featuring pineapple, I am immediately transported to somewhere I'd rather be. The best place to drink a pineapple-flavored beverage is, of course, within sight of the ocean. By the way, add Neck Dart to frozen margaritas, bloody Marys, or piña coladas to kick up your favorite tropical drink.
Cheers, and stay spicy!