Pinya / Pineapple /Ananas

Pineapples (Ananas comosus) for sale now are incredibly sweet and juicy and a tad bit early as I have noticed with several other summer fruit this year. pin1Continuing on the theme of roadside stand purchases (following the Toscana Farm Stand post), pineapples from Tagaytay are excellent value at the moment. I generally dislike, actually loathe, most of the fruit stands on the way up to Tagaytay because most of their fruit is not grown in the vicinity and they make every attempt to fleece you. I mean, get real, do they really think most buyers believe mandarin oranges, mangosteen and even apples are carted in from nearby farms? If you are observant and get the timing right, you may even see the trucks early Friday morning delivering various fruit from Divisoria, Laguna, etc. to each and every stall – hence the near identical offerings to the unknowing and often gullible consumers, many times busloads of tourists who all think this is so quaint and oh so photogenic. pin2Arrghh!!! What a farce, and you end up paying more than a Makati grocery in many cases! Caveat emptor! There are a few fruits that are grown nearby and should be the focus of your purchasing power… pineapples top the list, senorita bananas and to a lesser extent saba and lacatan banana varieties, some mango varieties, papayas and coconuts are all local and should be good value. Last week, I stopped at a pineapple only vendor near Tagaytay and purchased seven medium sized pineapples for P100 or just P14.30 each. Now, that’s a deal! Peeled they were a bit pale but extremely sweet. Sometimes the quality of pineapples in Cavite can be erratic but when they are good they are really good.

Pineapples are native to the lowlands of Brazil, where they grow wild. They have the name “anana” or “ananas” which translates to “excellent fruit.” Cultivation spread from there to the West Indies well before it was “discovered” by Columbus in Guadeloupe in 1493. pin3He referred to it as pine fruit or pina from where its modern English name is rooted. Columbus brought some fruit back to Europe where it became very desirable and was cultivated in greenhouses. Spanish and Portuguese sailors brought the fruit to Southeast Asia and later to India where it thrived as well. Today, pineapples thrive in many tropical countries around the world, though Malaysia and the Philippines and the state of Hawaii have major crops. Easily propagated, pineapples are stunningly unique in that they are a “composite fruit” that are made up of hundreds of flowers and their fruits are fused together to make up a single pineapple. Pineapple contains bromelin, an enzyme that is used to break down protein, as in a meat tenderizer. The bromelin can be so strong that anyone constantly handling pineapples without protection could literally see the skin on their hands being eaten away…yikes! Some people, like me, develop an allergy to the bromelin and cannot get close to the fruit. As a kid, I used to eat practically a whole fruit in one sitting without problems but in my 20’s I developed an allergy and I can’t eat pineapples or put a slice too near my face. Boo hoo as I love the taste of pineapple.

To select a pineapple, try to choose a fruit that is firm yet yields to the touch, pin4some say pulling on the lower leaves gives an indication that the fruit is riper if the leaves detach easily. The pineapple should smell like pineapple. When you get home, peel the pineapple within a day or two and put peeled fruit in the fridge for up to two days. To peel properly, most Filipinos carve diagonal canals swirling up the fruit to remove the eyes but save maximum fruit. If you want a good pineapple but aren’t driving up to Tagaytay anytime soon, here’s a little secret: the Dole Tropical Gold brand pineapples that are sold in groceries and Pricesmart stores are generally excellent – very sweet and extremely juicy, usually more consistent than the roadside purchases… they are a little pricier at say P30 each but you save all that gasoline… Sources: Alan Davidson’s Oxford companion to Food; Doreen Fernandez’s Fruits of the Philippines.


18 Responses

  1. Not only are the pictures well shot,,, they look so yummy! I find this site one of the most interesting and informative in the whole wide world (www) not just the web!

  2. i am a producer of pineapple variedad queen golden md2,know iam searching for buyers, if you can, tell me your place to send you a cotization of our products and give some pineapples to see our quality..
    Hugs Bjorn Lozano Lima Peru 051197750700

  3. please send me the email address of bjorn eric lozano torres who mailed you last. i am interested in his MD2 Pineapples !!! \Tnx

  4. Please give me the contact details including the email address of Bjorn Eric Lozono Torres urgently. I am verymuch interested in his MD2 veriety of pineapples.


  5. I am intrested in starting a pineapple plantation specifically the MD2 variety. My farm is located in Liberia West Africa. What is the MD2 purchased for on the world market. Please respond.

    Thank you,
    Boimah S. Taylor

  6. I am also interested in starting a pineapple plantation, and I would like some advice on how and were to start.


    Dave Stevens

  7. I am also interested in starting or taking over a pineapple plantation in Tagaytay. Can you help?

  8. gary, I presume you contact real estate agents who have small plantations or farmland listed in their roster or properties? Other than that, I haven’t the foggiest clue how to find a pineapple plantation…

  9. I’m curious about the difference of small and big pineapples. Korea Garden (along Jupiter St) for example serves these small slices (from small pineapples I assume) that are ALWAYS sweet. I’ve seen them when they are yellow, when they are pale, and they’ve always been consistently sweet. Another resto along Shaw (I forget the name) serves similar small pineapples for dessert – when my granddad asked for more, the waiter gave us 2 small whole pieces. Very very sweet too. I’ve never had big pineapples that sweet, and the small ones don’t give your tongue that weird sensation. I’ve tried buying small ones at Tagyatay, but I’ve never seem to have luck buying sweet ones. Do make a post if you ever figure out the difference ;)

  10. i am specially interested in micropropagating pineapples. Should you come across extremely sweet pinyas, please let me know. Surely the Philippines will be in the limelight soon bcoz of a specially sweet pinya (Brix 25) and low acid(0.2) whose core is even edible, very crunchy and believe it or not tastes like non-pineapple but a medley of guava-yacon-dragonfruit when still mature green.When ripe, eat it along while sipping unsweetened tea and you can forego sugar.
    Have been busy picturetaking all kinds of pinya all over the island and love wearing exotic n comfy jusi barong.

  11. I just returned from Brazil where the pineapples are delicious!… probably because I was tasting very fresh ones (the ones we get in Canada travel a long way before I eat them).
    The Brazilians tell me however, that the ones they served me were pineapples and the ones we get in Canada are “ananas”. The ones in Brazil were slightly smaller than I was used to and had more shallow bumps on the outside skin.
    Are they one and the same or are there two different “pineapples”. My theory is that the ones we get in Canada come from FLorida and are in fact a carefully bred variety – both for taste, acidity and for shipping.
    Anyone know the answer? Are pineapples and ananas different?

  12. I am interesting with purchase seedlings or sucker for MD2, can you let me know who can supply it?

  13. I want to seek an advice on how and where to get a pineapple which i’m going to much per volume,how far from manila and how long it takes to get thanks and more power

  14. Our core busines is in oil and Gas. Now we have diversifiend into bio tech industry. We are able and ready to supply tropical fruits plantlet especially MD2 pineapple and Cavendish banana. We have been awarded a bio nexus status company and now we are the only producers of MD2 pineapple in Malaysia. If you are serious, please contact us at email given. Thank you. Ben



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