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10 Things you didn't know about Pineapples
Pineapples are one of the most popular tropical fruits in the entire world. Named by explorers for its resemblance to a pine cone, the pineapple has taken the world of tropical mix drinks, cabana themed restaurants, and exotic pizza by storm. They can be eaten fresh, canned, juiced, and even cooked. For the health nuts, they're also a great source of manganese and vitamin C! Here are 10 amazing things that you didn't know about this tipple threat of a fruit.
1. The Pineapple Festival
Every Year in the Bahamas a pineapple festive is held in Gregory Town, Eleuthera. Originally introduced in the 80s by their tourist offices, the Pineapple Festival honors all the local farmers, and celebrates the nations most popular export. Visitors from all over come for the pineapple related activities, like pineapple eating and cooking contests, pineapple sports, a cycling contest, and even a beauty pageant. It's safe to say that the people of the Bahamas really love their Herbaceous perennials.
2. Pineapples Stealing the Scene
Pineapples are used by many as ornaments, but also make great film props. In USA Network's hit TV show Psych, pineapples are "psychic" detective Shawn Spencer's favorite gift to give people. He's often see holding one with a giant red bow on it; the pineapple steals the scene every time.
3. Hawaiin Pineapples
Hawaii produces 1/3rd of all the pineapples in the world. The Hawaiian name for pineapple is, "Hala kahiki", because when they first saw it, they thought it looked like a Hala tree. The word itself meaning "foreign Hala." The Hawaiian low-acid hybrids you find in stores today were originally developed in the 1970s. So next time you meet a pineapple tell it, "aloha."
4. Introduced by Christopher Columbus in 1493
Pineapples were introduced to the Spanish originally by Christopher Columbus, after his exploration of the Caribbean in 1493. He found it on the island of Guadalupe, and took it all the way back with him. After which it was spread all around on ships, because of its high levels of vitamin C when eaten raw, it was a great medication and preventive measure to scurvy. In the 16th century the Spanish introduced it to the Philippines who today is one of the largest pineapple producers in the world.
5. A Cluster of Hundreds of Fruitlets
Pineapples aren't a single fruit! They are a cluster of a couple hundred fruitlets. The pineapple is in fact a multiple fruit, because its fruit forms independently from the ovaries of many flowers.
6. A Pineapple's Relatives
They are the only edible member of the bromeliad plant family, which is really quite unique considering the pineapple has 3,170 relatives.
7. Where Pineapples Grow
There is no such thing as a pineapple tree; they don't grow on them. They grow off the center spike off the very strong spikey cactus like leaves from their mother plant, and take about 18 months to grow.
8. The Goodness of Pineapples
If you are experiencing inflammation, or even indigestion try pineapple. Both the root and fruit can be consumed, or even applied as a topical cream. This has to do with its natural enzymes which are both antibacterial and can break down proteins, which is also why it works great as a meat tenderizer.
9. The Native Pineapple
The Pineapple was originally native to South America, specifically Brazil and Paraguay, where its wild non crossbred relatives still reside. Before Columbus discovered the pointy fruit, the natives had already been planting, and harvesting them all throughout South America.
10. Recycling Pineapples
Although the core and outside of the pineapple are a bit too hard and generally unpleasant for human consumption, factories in South America recycle them, and sell them to farmers who use them in feed for their livestock; specifically pigs and cattle.
Pineapples in The Bahamas
it is believed that the Bahamas was the first country to produce pineapple on a commercial scale. Since the early 1700s pineapples grew in the Bahamas but were only exported in 1844. In this year 15 000 dozen were exported to England and 15 000 to the United States. The next year 70 000 dozen pineapples were shipped to these two destinations. In 1857 the first canning factory was established by J.S. Johnson in Eleuthera. In 1892, the peak year for Bahamian pineapples, 700 000 dozen pineapples, valued at around £60,000 were exported.
Unfortunately the early 1900s the pineapple industry saw a serious decline and by the late 1920s the industry had collpased in the Bahamas.