Pineapple is a large tropical fruit with spicy, hard skin and a sweet and juicy inside. The first mention of pineapple belongs to Christopher Columbus, who mentioned this fruit in his diary. The mention dates from 1439.
For centuries, pineapple has been extremely rare. Over time, it has become one of the most consumed exotic fruits, being accessible to anyone. The popularity comes both from the fact that it is delicious and from the multiple benefits it has, as well as from its versatility, as a culinary ingredient. Today, the largest pineapple crops are in tropical and subtropical countries (Philippines, Indonesia, India, Costa Rica, Brazil, and China).
How much does a pineapple cost?
Pineapple is a perfect fruit for sweetening up your day. On average, you’ll pay anywhere from $3 to $5 per piece, depending on where you buy them and if they’re in season (or on sale). However, if shipped directly from Hawaii through the airline system or shipping companies, prices are higher than those found locally. For example, a case of six pieces would cost somewhere between $65 and $90.
According to CBS News, one pound of precut pineapple costs anywhere between $3.25 and $5.12.
If you were to buy canned pineapple, the cost for a 20-ounce container is around $2. For example, you can purchase a 20-ounce can of Dole pineapple chunks from Walmart for almost $2.
According to a USDA report, the price for a pint of a ready-to-drink pineapple is $0.75, while the frozen pineapple is $0.40 per pint.
Depending on the brand, the cost of a 64-ounce container of pineapple juice is around $5 or almost $6 for a pack of 6-ounce cans.
What are the extra costs?
Cutting a pineapple can be tricky. For those who have been dared or assigned the task of cutting up one, there is something that may make their job easier: a handy tool called the “pineapple slicer.” This simple device costs $4 to $17, depending on how fancy it gets.
Important things to consider
Its pulp is juicy and fleshy, with the stem serving as a fibrous supporting core. The exterior is hard, with small scales that can be dark green, yellow, orange-yellow, or red when the fruit is very ripe. The pulp can vary in color from cream-white to yellow and has a mixture of sweet taste and rich aroma.
Pineapple fruits contain bromelain, fiber, phytonutrients (coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid), pectins, polysaccharides, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, folic acid, vitamin C, B5, B6, B1, antioxidants, and polyphenols (beta-carotene). From a medicinal point of view, bromelain is the most valuable compound, able to accelerate the digestion of proteins.
Pineapple has anti-inflammatory, purgative, detoxifying, antidepressant properties and has an invigorating effect.
Pineapple has no fat or cholesterol at all and has only 50 calories per 100 grams, lots of fiber, and protein, which makes it ideal in diets.
Unripe pineapple does not necessarily taste bad. However, it is not recommended to eat it. You may get a sore throat. In addition, unripe fruit has a strong laxative effect. There were also some reports from pregnant women who blamed the miscarriage they suffered on the consumption of unripe pineapple.
How to choose pineapple and how to store it
Choosing a perfect pineapple from stores can be a challenge. A few simple tricks will help you. The texture of the fruit, its color, and smell, but also its weight are important:
- choose pineapple that has green leaves, with a fresh and juicy appearance;
- the ideal color should be yellow-brown, which would usually indicate that it is ripe; the pineapple gradually changes color, from green to yellow, as it ripens, and the fruits stop ripening when they have been picked; depending on the variety, the exterior color may vary;
- the texture is an important detail, and the ripe pineapple has a firm, slightly soft skin when well ripened; a hard pineapple is not ripe;
- one of the best ways to tell if it is ripe is the smell, which is best felt at the base of the fruit, on the opposite side of the leaves; the smell is discreet, but it is stronger in a ripe fruit;
- weight checking can be an effective strategy to assess maturity; the heavier it is, relative to its size, the riper it is; a heavy pineapple is juicy and most likely sweeter;
- a simple way is to pull the leaves from the base gently. If they come off, it is ripe fruit.
The whole fruit, including the leaves, can be stored for several days, preferably in a dark and cool place, but not in the refrigerator. Cut retains its taste and aroma for a few days, kept cold, but it must be covered with food foil.
Precautions and Contraindications
Pineapple is very acidic (especially unripe), and this acidity affects the tooth enamel or can cause discomfort to people suffering from gastric disorders (ulcers, gastritis).
Bromelain, in local applications, can cause dermatitis or irritation of the oral mucosa.
Canned pineapple, a commonly consumed product, has a higher caloric intake than fresh fruit, depending on the amount of sugar added, and does not contain bromelain, which is destroyed with heat treatment.
How can I save money?
If you’re looking for a good deal on canned pineapple, be sure to look for promotions before heading out to the grocery store. You may find that there are coupons available from popular brands like Del Monte or Dole in your local paper and online too.
You can plant your own pineapple by cutting the top of it, keeping it in the water for a while until the roots appear, and then burying it in the ground.