This tropical beauty received its name from its resemblance to the pine cone. It is also known as ananas, derived from the Paraguayan nana meaning "excellent (or exquisite) fruit."
Pineapples can weigh up to 20 pounds, though the average size marketed ranges between 2 and 5 pounds. All varieties have bumpy diamond patterned skins with a golden-yellow or golden-brown color. Though there are slight flavor variation, all ripe pineapple is exceedingly juicy and has a tangy sweet-tart flavor. Pineapples are a fair source of vitamins A and C. Fresh pineapple is available year-round with a peak season from March to July. This is one fruit that must be picked ripe because the starch will not convert to sugar once it's off the plant.
Choose pineapples that are slightly soft to the touch with a full, strong color and no sign of greening. The leaves should be crisp and green with no yellow or brown tips. Overripe pineapples show their advanced state with soft or dark areas on the skin. Refrigerate fresh pineapple tightly wrapped for up to 3 days. If it's slightly underripe, keep it at room temperature for several days to reduce its acidity (though it won't increase its sweetness).
In cocktails pineapple is mainly used as garnish. It may be cut into slices, sticks or chunks. Fresh and frozen pineapple cannot be used in gelatin mixtures because of a natural enzyme that prevents them from setting (canned pineapple doesn't cause a problem).
Serving size: 112g
Total fat 0 g
Sodium 10 mg
Protein 0 g
Total carbohydrate 17 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 13 g