The History of the Incredible Pineapple: From Hawaii to Dole and More

Do you like to eat pineapple? Many people do. Pineapple tastes great eaten raw. Or, it can be sautÃ?©ed, baked, or juiced. Pineapple is a main ingredient in such popular recipes as Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Pineapple Meringue Pie, Fried Pineapple Rings, and more. As you can tell, this fruit is quite versatile. It also provides Vitamins A and C and an important enzyme called, “Bromelain”, to our bodies. Bromelain helps aid the body’s digestive system. It also has been used to help treat Bronchitis and other upper respiratory infections.

What’s interesting about the Bromelain enzyme is that is breaks down the protein in gelatin. This is the reason why, even though Pineapple can be used in a countless number of recipes, pineapple cannot be successfully added to gelatin.

There are five kinds of pineapple: the Kona Sugarloaf, the Natal Queen, the Perambuco, the Red Spanish, and the Smooth Cayenne. The Smooth Cayenne variety is what you’ll see most often in the fruit section of your grocery store. Every variety shares the same characteristic rough, diamond-patterned skin. The body is cylindrical in shape, and they all have the same sweet, piquant taste of a pineapple.

If you live in a warm climate, you might already know what a flowering pineapple plant looks like. It has a short stem, waxy leaves, and it normally grows to be two to five feet tall.

This juicy, heavy fruit was found by Christopher Columbus when he and his crew made their second voyage to the Caribbean in the year 1493. Even though they found Pineapple to be unusual looking, they liked the sweet taste. Columbus thought the fruit resembled a pine cone, so he called it the, “Pine of the Indies.”

There is nothing in a Pineapple’s appearance that resembles an “apple.” It’s said that it got the addition to its name when Christopher Columbus showed the fruit to the English people. An “apple” was already a tasty, popular fruit that many people enjoyed. Therefore, in order to enhance its appeal, Columbus added “apple” to the name he had already given it. And, the name “pineapple” was set into place.

The Pineapple was sold only in its raw form until the late eighteen hundreds. It was then that an Englishman named Captain John Kidwell decided to remove its rough outside skin and can the edible portion of the fruit. Unfortunately, Captain Kidwell’s business failed due to the high tariff the United States imposed on canned pineapple.

Captain Kidwell closed his business in 1898. He had no sooner given up his idea when Hawaii officially became part of the United States. The high tariff was, of course, then lifted.

In 1900, another man, whose name you’ll surely recognize, took a trip to Hawaii. The man, James Drummond Dole, had one thousand dollars in his pocket. He also possessed degrees in business and agriculture. But most importantly, Dole had a dream of growing and canning pineapples.

In 1901, Dole began growing Pineapple on sixty acres on Wahiawa, north of Oahu. He named his business the, “Hawaiian Pineapple Company.” Dole was so successful in his endeavors to place canned pineapple in grocery stores that he later was dubbed, “The Pineapple King”.

Today, Pineapple is still a popular fruit. However, it is also used in other ways. Bromelain, for example, is harvested from its leaves. Besides being an enzyme that can help treat respiratory ailments, Bromelain is also used to stabilize latex paints, tenderize meat, and chill proof beer.

The fiber in a Pineapple is woven into fabric by the Chinese people in Kwantgung Province. And, Pineapple juice, when mixed with sand, is said to be a powerful cleaner for boat decks.

And finally, the waste that is produced from Pineapple manufacturers is dehydrated and turned into a bran feed for cattle, pigs and chickens.

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