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The main characteristics of pineapple

One of the most popular fruits in cooking is the pineapple. One of the meals most associated with summer, it is eaten raw but frequently also in syrup. In actuality, the summer is when it ripens. It has to be acknowledged that growing it is not an easy task, at least not in Europe. In actuality, the plant needs a warm, humid atmosphere with a consistent temperature above 25 degrees. This means that most farming at our latitudes occurs indoors in greenhouses.

Whatever the case, the fruit has a distinct thick, black rind with a checkered pattern; the pulp is rather firm and has a pleasing, deep yellow colour; and the fruit’s top has the distinctive leafy tuft. In terms of nutrients, pineapple meets or exceeds expectations. This fruit is minimal in calories, containing only 40 kcal per 100 grammes. Potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C are all abundant in it. Moreover, it has bromelain, which aids in the breakdown of lipids and the assimilation of proteins.


The different varieties of pineapple

Although the varieties cultivated and traded in Italy are not that many, the pineapple plant, which is part of the Bromeliaceae family, has developed over the centuries in numerous variations. Below, we describe the four main groups into which the varieties can be divided.

  • Cayenne. It is the pineapple that we are all used to consuming. The fruit is medium in size with a firm pulp and a bright green tuft, while the rind is rather dark.
  • Spanish. This variety is characterised by a potbellied shape, a medium size, and a much thicker skin. The pulp is very fibrous and has a slightly acidic flavour.
  • Queen. It stands out for its particularly small size and very sweet pulp; it has an aromatic and fragrant flavour.
  • Abacaxi. It is a rather rare variety in Italy; it has a very thin skin and sweet, juicy pulp.

There are so many recipes to be made

Just like with any other fruit, pineapple is best eaten “raw”. This does not preclude it from taking centre stage in a number of recipes. I include some of them in this section. The intriguing non-alcoholic cocktails feature pineapple as one of the primary ingredients, both during the preparation stage and during the final decorating stage.

Like any self-respecting sugary fruit, pineapple may serve as the star of different confectionary creations like juices, smoothies, and milkshakes. The pineapple-flavoured fruit sorbet and fruit salad with ice cream stand out in particular.

Why is eating pineapple healthy?

Pineapple is a healthy food, especially when compared to a lot of other fruits. The explanation for this is the wide range and quantity of active substances it may offer. A considerable amount of vitamin C, which boosts immunity, is present in this fruit.

The same goes for vitamin B6, which is involved in energy metabolism. Finally, there is no shortage of mineral salts, in particular calcium and magnesium. The first impacts the health of teeth and bones, and the second acts as a tonic.

Another benefit of pineapple is its strong diuretic properties. It comes mostly from how much water it contains, but it also comes from certain particular materials. It’s referring to the well-known bromelain, which is rather wrongly labelled as a “fat burner”. In general, pineapple consumption is advised for people with water retention issues and cellulite issues brought on by excessive retention of liquids.

Because pineapples have more fibre than most other Mediterranean fruits, they are also beneficial for people with mild constipation. Consequently, it also makes digestion easier.

What are the side effects?

Talking about side effects may seem counterintuitive if you consider how beneficial pineapple is. Since it still offers 50–60 kcal per 100 grammes (more than apples and pears, to put it mildly), overindulgence may produce issues for the figure. In contrast, the glycemic index is at medium-low levels; nonetheless, even in this instance, there is still an excess that carries some added risk.

Furthermore, the abundance of fibre could cause a certain laxative effect in predisposed subjects. In general, we can say that certain prudence, or at least a bit of common sense, is necessary when consuming a potentially beneficial fruit such as pineapple. All this must be considered in light of pathological situations that are incompatible with the intake of this specific fruit.