Pineapples are generally available all year round with the best value being from November to February.
The pineapple is the only edible member of the bromeliad family, which contains about 2, 500 known species, all originating from Central and South America except one.
Multiple pineapple varieties are grown throughout Queensland. Growers choose to grow a mix of varieties to help to ensure high quality, year round supply. Smooth Cayenne is the traditional canning variety grown by many producers.
This variety is easily processed and every time you buy pineapple in a Golden Circle can, you are eating a Smooth Cayenne pineapple. ‘Smooths’ as growers call them, are also sold as fresh fruit and are excellent eating quality in the warmer months. ‘Smooths’ can be found in stores all across Australia with their tops or crowns still attached.
More recently industry has developed several newer varieties. These are designed to be very sweet and have low acidity. They are excellent to eat in the cooler months and can be found in stores across Australia without their tops or crowns attached.
Major growing regions within Australia include South East Queensland, particularly the Sunshine Coast hinterlands, Maryborough and Wide Bay area, the Yeppoon district, and all the way up to Mareeba and Mosman in Northern Queensland.
The colour of a pineapple’s skin can naturally vary between summer and winter, but they are always ready to eat as soon as they hit the stores. So you can’t easily judge a pineapple by its cover. Nor can you test it by thumping it or pulling a leaf from the crown.
Instead, check that the fruit is free from soft spots or bruises, and if it has a top, make sure the leaves are fresh and green.
Store any uneaten pineapple pieces in an air-tight container in the fridge. That way you always know you’ll have some delicious pineapple on hand, ready to enjoy and share anywhere, anytime.
Pineapple fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain that digests food by breaking down protein. Bromelain also has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that consumption of pineapple regularly helps fight against arthritis, indigestion and worm infestation.
Fresh pineapple is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin; vitamin C. 100 g fruit contains 47.8 or 80% of this vitamin.
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