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Are DRUGS in your PINEAPPLE? - a TROPICAL TASTY TALE.


Are DRUGS in your PINEAPPLE?


" Let go my PINEAPPLE "...
Ooops I'm sorry...not speaking to you...
I'm speaking to the authorities.
We have to check your pineapples miss.
MY whattt???
Yes...we're randomly checking for fake pineapples...
stashing drugs among grocery displays!
You're kidding me right? Where's the candid camera."

Wondering...what the heck I'm talking about???

If this great big pineapple shipment had not gotten intercepted at the port...
this could have easily been a scenario in many retail outlets in the Netherlands.

These are some excerpts from: The Associated Press...March 11, 2010
..."First it was drugs among the flowers.  Now, drug traffickers have stuffed real drugs into fake fruit in an effort to smuggle cocaine into the Netherlands..."
..."Last month customs officials intercepted four kilograms (9 pounds) of cocaine hidden among 20,000 long-stem roses flown to the Netherlands from Colombia in time for Valentine's Day..."
..."police uncovered euro25 million ($34 million) worth of cocaine hidden plastic pineapples that were scattered among a shipment of real fruit!
..."The half-ton haul was intercepted when fruit packers unloading a consignment of pineapples saw some strange-looking fruit in the containers..."

I could not believe what I was reading.
I guess, desperation and greed has brought creativity to new heights!
***
Alright, enough about the fake pineapple...
let's find out more about this tropical goodness.
Before you have a chance to enjoy its freshness...
here’s the stunning evolution that a pineapple goes through.

source: This is a collage created from various photos found on Flickr.com

This is one of my very favourite tropical sweet treat.
We are so fortunate to have plenty throughout the year.
It’s rare not to find a beautiful looking pineapple on my kitchen counter.
Every time I cut into a plump pineapple...
just, the fragrance puts a smile on my tummy. 
I do mostly prefer to eat it fresh.


At times, I also enjoy it integrated into baked desserts.  
Especially, when I have a chance to make my 'Pineapple Spice cake torte'.


***
How about also creating a...
FESTIVE food PRESENTATION

source: Adelineleighwedding.com



Here are some intricate and attractive
pineapple fruit carvings and sculpting.

source: This is a collage created from various photos found on Flickr.com




Back to this divine tropical fruit...


" Did you know that a " mature pineapple is actually a conglomeration of up to 200 little fruits that spiral around and bond to the central core.
The individual fruits can be recognized in a pineapple's multiple thorny eyes."
ref: The Science of good Food







This here is...the ‘PINK’ pineapple.  
It is an ornamental species of pineapple from Brazil. Characterised by its pink inflorescence, its proper name is Ananas comosus var. ananassoides and while between 4-5 cm in length it sits upon a stalk which can be up to 40cm tall. They are edible but because of their strong acidic taste they are rarely eaten."
Photo and info credit to: Swamibu on Flickr.com







A few other USEFUL facts
ABOUT the PINEAPPLE:
Photo transformation by Foccalmatters on Flickr.com

My preferred qualities about the pineapple...
is how my palette is introduced to exceptional juices and just the
right amount of ‘tangyness’ and sweetness as I enjoy every bite.

Pineapple fruit properties:
. After the popular banana...pineapple is in very close second place.  Mango is not too far behind.
. Pineapple is the third most canned fruit only behind apple and peaches.
. Pineapples have wonderful tenderising enzymes and goes especially well with pork, meat, poultry and seafood dishes. It is also widely used in confectionery and puddings, juices and cocktails.
. Keep in mind that this same enzyme is detrimental to gelatine or dairy based dishes. To avoid this problem...either cook the pineapple ahead of time or just simply use canned pineapple which has already been heated to a high enough temperature to deactivate the pineapple.
. Other than what was just mentioned...pineapple does hold up very well during cooking and pairs well with both savoury and sweet foods.

How to choose the best pineapple.
Market in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa...photo: GettyImages.com

How to buy the best pineapple:
. Heavy with a yellowish tint that yield to a gentle pressure.
. The leaves should be green and firm.
. The base of the fruit should have a pleasant fragrant smell.
. The area closer to the base of the fruit has more sugar content and therefore a sweeter taste and more tender texture.

Twin bearing Pineapple...source: teachamantofish.org.uk

Health properties:
Pineapples have been used to alleviate body heat and fevers and used externally to dissolve warts, calluses and painful corns. It is also a good source of manganese, very good in the B vitamin and especially a great source of vitamin C. Due to the large amounts of natural acids and brome lain enzyme, large amounts of fresh pineapple should not be consumed as a main dish. On the other hand, it is these same juices in moderate amounts that greatly aid digestion as they closely resemble natural gastric juices. Pineapple is also a natural diuretic and its fibre aids in elimination of wastes. It also helps clear mucous from bronchial tissues.
Health warning:
Unripe pineapple is not only inedible, it is poisonous, causing throat irritation and severe intestinal problems.

***
HISTORICAL synopsis ABOUT the pineapple
Johann Christoph Volckamer (1662-1744)
Pineapple, Tab IV ...Hand-colored engraving  
source: georgeglazer.com/prints

Did you also know:
. The word pineapple in English was first recorded in 1398, when it was originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed the pine cone)
Christopher Columbus called it itpiña de Indes meaning "pine of the Indians."
. Although thought to have originated in South America, pineapples were first discovered by Europeans in 1493 on the Caribbean island that came to be known as Guadaloupe.

. The South American Guarani Indians first cultivated pineapples for food that they called nanã, meaning "exquisite or excellent fruit."

. Another explorer, Magellan, is credited with finding pineapples in Brazil in 1519, and by 1555, the luscious fruit was being exported with gusto to England. It soon went to India and Asia.

. In 1751 George Washington tasted his first pineapple in Barbados and declared it his favourite tropical fruit. Although the pineapple thrived in Florida, it was still a rarity for most Americans.





. Captain James Cook later introduced the pineapple to Hawaii in about 1770 but commercial cultivation did not begin until the 1880s when steamships made transporting the perishable fruit viable.













By 1921...
pineapple became Hawaii's largest crop and industry.
Dole Plantation's Pineapple Garden Maze...Source: Oahu Visitor's Bureau

Other places where the
PINEAPPLE is CULTIVATED:

. As of 2001, Southeast Asia (Thailand and the Philippines) dominated the world production of Pineapples. In the Americas, Brazil came close behind as well as Costa Rica as a smaller producer.
. Other pineapple producing countries include Mexico, Honduras, Dominican Republic and China.
Photo:Ayer Hitam Pineapple Plantation in Johor, Malaysia. Found on Flickr.com




. Twelve countries absorb 90 % of the world demand of fresh pineapple. The US leads the demand and France, Japan, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Canada, Spain, England, Korea, Netherlands and Singapore share the rest of the supply.  

Or, in this case... where 'Hubby' and I vacationed in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Hilton Hotel.
Here, its hotel lobby showcased miniature pineapple plants!









Speaking of tourism attraction...
check out this Pineapple shop:


Here's an unforgettable tourist pineapple attraction in Bathurst , Eastern Cape, South Africa:
Standing 16.7 metres tall the big pineapple acts as a tourist magnet, causing cars to veer off the tar and past a small pineapple patch towards the big one, not really knowing what to expect. It turns out that this pineapple that was completed in 1991 is actually a shop, display room and viewing platform in one.

The pineapple is built from fibreglass, with a steel frame. It has three floors inside. The lower level is a store selling pineapple paraphernalia, while the second level has an exhibition on the history of South Africa’s pineapple industry.
The third level has exhibitions on local industries with stairs leading to a viewing deck around the pineapple’s green “crown”.


Oh, and did you know it is modeled on a similar big pineapple in Nambour, in Queensland Australia - but built 0.7 metres higher?
source: venture.dispatch.co.za
 
 



Other PINEAPPLE influences in
ART and ARCHITECTURE
. The Pineapple Fountain in Charleston's North Carolina, U.S.A., Waterfront Park
...source by both: charlestoncvb.com and Bookguy...from Flickr.com
. Sarikei Civic Centre, found in Sarikei, East Malaysia
Photo: borneotip.blogspot.com/2009/05/sarikei-town.html
. The Pineapple in Dunmore, Scotland.


As you can witness from the photos...the architecture is magnificent.
This classical Palladian pavilion, houses a small octagonal room, where a tall 45 feet
stone sculpted pineapple is erected. When it was completed in 1761...
pineapples had only been grown in Scotland for about 30 years
and were so exotic (the pineapple represented wealth at the time)
that very few would have even seen one, let alone had the chance to taste one.
Photos by both: history.org...and by: Chris1179 on Flickr.som


...and how's this for Architectural imagination:

Here is a pineapple decorated stall representing the Pineapple Festival at Manipur, North East, India.
It has so far drawn in over 500 cultivators.
Quite a colourful event which provides great opportunities for the farmers to promote their pineapple business.






The Splendour of the pineapple's natural design
has also influenced the universe of:
Home fashion and design

source: gidesigns.net





More influences in HOME fashions...



sources: This is a collage created from various photos found on:
Gidesigns.net...Uteart...on Flickr.com...katherinehouston.com...pgerardmazzei.com...
PointClickHome.com...reigninggifts.com...Mukumbura on Flickr.com
***

REFERENCES and RESSOURCES
Tons more info on the Pineapple:


Some of the above content's information was extracted from

Book: (note: I have this in my personal bookshelf)
The science of food [the ultimate reference on how cooking works]


Related Recipes:
Mentioned below are the links to these selected recipes...
starting from the top left hand corner:

Once again...it's been amazing putting this feature piece together.
Hopefully, you have enjoyed it as much as I have.

Did you realize how fascinating the PINEAPPLE was?

Here's wishing you pineapple's beauty and freshness in your day...
Flavourful wishes,
Foodessa


Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com




Please Note:
Some of these IMAGES and PHOTOS were randomly borrowed from a few UNKNOWN and PROPERLY TRACEABLE owners. If you are the original artist...please notify me so that I can quickly and appropriately credit
you concerning your work. Thank you.