Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Everything you want to know aboout pineapple...

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Everything you want to know aboout pineapple...

    but were afraid to ask.... (I have a friend on another board who used to live in Hawaii, and she is quite well educated about pineapples. Just thought I'd share her knowledge.)

    Part 1 of 3

    People wonder why pineapples are so pricey.... It takes 18 months for a pineapple plant to go from planting until it yields its first fruit... Each plant is quite large - - so it is not 'economical' because it uses a goodly amount of land for two or three individual fruits.... And it takes a lot of time and sunshine to make the fruit as luscious as possible...

    Pineapples are in the bromeliad family - - the variety that is most grown for consumption is the Cayenne variety.... The plants grow in lots of places, but when most folks think 'pineapple', they also think 'Hawaii'....... There is only one active cannery in the Islands now - - and Maui Pine has just been sold out, so there might not be any canned fruit coming from the Islands any more - - however, there are still fields devoted to the plants on Oahu and Maui..... There are also Boutique farms trying new varieties - - there are also 'tourist trap' gardens that are open to the public where you can still see sugar and pineapple growing - - once the mainstay of the Hawaiian economy - - kind of sad - - I can't help but thinking of the song "Paved Paradise and put up a parking lot" - - I know that isn't the name, but it WAS written about Hawaii years ago......

    Pineapples grow from the prepared tops of picked fruit - - I will explain later on how that happens..... The fields are prepared and tilled into long strips of 'hills' which are then covered with biodegradable plastic sheets with 'pukas' (holes) in them to plant the tops.... They are planted by hand - - a good planter can plant about 1200 plants in an 8 hour day - - the record is 36,000 in one day done by a Filipino planter - - he had some help, though - - people handing him the tops and making sure that everything was perfect for planting.... The plastic keeps weeds from growing - - and it will eventually plowed back into the soil after the plants are 'done' - - in 3 or 4 years...... The plants grow so thickly together that after a while, weeds don't have a chance!!!

    After 18 months, the plants yield their first fruits.... You cannot tell by looking at a fruit whether it is ripe or not... Sample fruits are picked and are taken to a Lab for testing.... The ripe fruits can be green, brown or golden yellow... Samples are put on the picking arms for the pickers to compare - - 3 or 4 passes are necessary to glean all of the ripe fruits, and picking is a horrible job.... There are long arms with conveyor belts that reach over the plants... The pickers look like they are armed for battle with leather chaps, arm protectors and gloves to protect them from the knifeblade leaves of the plants and to protect them from centipedes.... Of course, they wear the big straw hats, too..... They cut the fruits from the plants with a machete and toss them onto the belts.... They are loaded onto trucks and taken to be processed......

    The plants are left to grow the next crop (the first 'ratoon' crop' which takes 9 months to a year.... These fruits are a bit smaller and are usually processed into canned or juice..... A field might be allowed to bear the 2nd ratoon crop, 9 to 12 months later, which are the smallest and sweetest - - we call the 'Sugar Pines' and they are the ones that locals raid the fields for.... They are sooooooooooo goood.....

    After the third harvest happens, the plants are cut off at the base by a large machine and are allowed to dry out in the sun - - they are then chopped up and are plowed into the ground - - - and the field 'rests' for about 6 months...
    Last edited by beatlebette; 07-30-2008, 05:13 PM.
    Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

  • #2
    Re: Everything you want to know aboout pineapple...

    Part 2

    Pineapples do not ripen after they are picked.... That's why the ones that you get in Hawaii are sooo good - - - when you take a case of fruit home with you from the airport, those fruits were picked that morning...... However, there are some secrets that will help you pick a better fruit.....

    As I said earlier, a 'ripe' fruit may be green, brown or yellow.... Many folks suggest that you grab one of the leaves from the top of the fruit and if it comes loose easily, that means that the fruit is ripe.... Not always true... It may just mean that the fruit is quite heavy and the leaves come loose pretty easily......

    Grab the fruit - - it should feel heavy - - hold the fruit in one hand and 'thump' it with your fingers (kind of like you do with a melon). If you can feel a 'vibration' in the fruit with all of your fingers, it means that the fruit is a good one..... Look at the fruit - - it is made up of 'eyes' - - the ones at the top of the fruit by the leaves should be the same size as the 'eyes' at the base.... This means that the fruit was not picked too early - - if the eyes are way smaller, you will waste the whole top of the fruit, since it will be 'pithy'.......

    Do not 'kill' the fruit with a knife.... Grab the fruit (the hand grenade part) with one hand and grasp the leaves firmly with the other hand.... Unscrew the leaves from the fruit..... They will pop right off and don't throw them away - - more to come on the tops....

    Don't cut into the fruit right away - - turn it upside down (where the leaves came from should be on the bottom now) in a glass or plastic bowl - - don't use metal - - and let is sit for about 1/2 hour.... The sugar from the base of the plant will work its way to the top and all of the fruit will be juicier and sweeter......

    I like to use a serrated knife to open the fruit up - - I have an old steak knife that got bent in my drawer and it works perfectly.... If you have a serrated grapefruit knife with a curved tip, that works well, too.... If you got conned into buying one of those Pineapple Princess cutters that cores and peels the pineapple all at once, sell it at a yard sale - - they are hard to use and you waste a lot of fruit and juice........

    Slice the top and bottom off of the fruit..... Stand it up on one of the cut ends and use the serrated knife to cut the skin off - - don't be scrimpy - cut deep enough so that you don't have to pick out the eyes, but don't cut too far into the fruit..... Then cut straight down into wedges - - cut straight down to trim the tough core - - they make great drink stirrers for tropical drinks, and fresh Hawaiian pine is tender enough to chew on, but it does have tough parts.... Cut the wedges into slices and enjoy.....

    Occasionally, you will get a very acidic pineapple that 'hurts' your mouth when you eat it.... If this happens - - put the slices into a glass or plastic bowl and sprinkle with a healthy pinch of table salt... Stir and let sit for about 1/2 hour - - no more sting..... And no salty flavor....

    More in the next post.....
    Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Everything you want to know aboout pineapple...

      Part 3

      Now - - what can you do with that top???? You can grow a beautiful house plant!!!!!

      Grab the green leaves and start peeling the outside ones off - - you might have to take off almost 2/3's of the leaves - - - but you will eventually see some root-type things showing up at the bottom of the leaves - - the leaves will be quite white at the bottom and the roots look like tough white worm-like things......

      Grab a 4" pot - - don't go bigger or you will end up with a sprawling plant - - 4" will make a tall, full plant..... Mix potting soil half/half with sand - - - Hawaiian soil is quite sandy - - and plant that trimmed top into the soil - - cover the white part of the top..... Now, as I used to tell my tourists on the bus, you subscribe to the Honolulu newspaper and when it rains in Hawaii, you water your plant!!!!!!! Nah!!!!! As a bromiliad, the plant pulls in a lot of moisture from the air - - so the plant should be misted frequently..... The best fields on Oahu were at 900' or higher elevation and there was a lot of misty moisture in the air..... If you water the pot too much, the succulent plant and roots will rot, so the soil should have good drainage and be on the dry side - - but keep misting...... You can sit the plants out in the summer time, but not when the temps go below 50 F.........

      If you are lucky, after a year or so, the plant will put out a spectacular purple, pinkish, bluish flower..... If you don't have a bunch of plants, you won't have luck with fertilizing it, but you can trick it into bearing a fruit - - - cut an apple into quarters, put it into a plastic bag and tie the opened bag with the apple inside around the flower (the flower goes into the bag, too)...... If you are really, really, lucky, you might end up with a tiny pineapple on the plant.... It won't grow to be more than a couple of inches, and it won't be edible, but it is fun to do ........ (Pat's) My mom, who had the greenest thumbs in the world, was able to get one out of four plants to bear fruit........

      If you have any questions, feel free to ask...... I (Pat) drove tour buses over there for 15 years, and I know more than a human should about pineapples, sugar, mangos and other tropical flora...
      Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Everything you want to know aboout pineapple...

        It is cool how you can grow a plant from the top. I might try to do that next time we buy one.
        Visit my blog at: http://midlifemotherhood45.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Everything you want to know aboout pineapple...

          Omigosh, that was a page turner! LOL. I luv that kind of stuff. My dad (if anyone remembers he's a little out there!! In a cute warm and fuzzy way.) grew a pineapple plant a long time ago and the neighbors thought he was on drugs! Ha ha. He never got it to bear fruit, but as a kid I thuoght that it was super cool. I eat about one pineapple every other week and only fresh will do for me. I look at canned as cooked fruit not fresh.
          www.thenewmommiezblend.blogspot.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Everything you want to know aboout pineapple...

            I agree! Fresh is best. Yum!
            Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Everything you want to know aboout pineapple...

              Thank you for this. I've been trying for a couple of months to get a pineapple to root (using instructions from the "instructables" website.) No luck, just rot. I'd really like to have some growing and am going to print off your info and try again.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Everything you want to know aboout pineapple...

                Wow Bette! I am very impressed. That was very informative and interesting! I appreciate your time on this. Thank-you very much dear friend!
                Have you made time to listen to the birds today........

                Comment

                Working...
                X