Fruit and vegetables

Pineapple cultivation

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Pineapple characteristics

Pineapple is a plant belonging to the Bromeliads family which botanists also define as epiphytes to indicate those plants which, while living behind other plants, are not parasitic. The fruit is composed of an external part, the brown skin, covered with thorns which inside contains a large layer of sugary pulp which in turn surrounds the innermost part, hard and fibrous which is nothing but the apex. of the stem of the whole plant, more commonly called core or heart. At the top of the fruit, which depending on the variety can weigh between one and five kilograms, there is a tuft of hard leaves capable of retaining water and providing nourishment to the plant. In addition to being a refreshing food, this fruit contains substances that facilitate the digestion and assimilation of proteins by the body. Its juice is particularly indicated in the treatment of diphtheria and numerous pathologies of the throat. It is widely used in the gastronomic field; particularly in oriental cuisine where it is often the fundamental ingredient in numerous preparations based on meat, fish, seafood etc. The word nana or anana derives from the Guarani language and means "excellent", the addition of the final s is to be attributed to the original denomination attributed to it by Italians and Portuguese while the Spaniards had called it pina. The British have instead named it pine-apple because the particular shape of the pine cones is combined with the sweet taste of the pulp and the typical freshness of the apples.


A bit of history

And in fact they thought it was just a pine cone that western explorers led by Christopher Columbus first and Ferdinand Magellan later found on the sunny shores of the Antilles and South America. But as soon as they tasted the sweet and juicy pulp they understood that it was a unique fruit, very good and that it had to be imported into other countries because nobody was deprived of the pleasure of tasting such a delicacy. Just over a century after its discovery, Spaniards and Portuguese managed to bring it to Africa and Asia while in the United States pineapple mania broke out between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when commercial traffic began to intensify with the South. the image of this fruit was heavily advertised; its symbol appeared on clothing and fabrics of all kinds and the most disparate objects such as cups, mugs, vases and others were manufactured by reproducing the typical shape of the fruit. However, it was only at the beginning of the twentieth century that this fruit began to be produced on an industrial scale thanks to the invention of the steamboat and in particular of canned pineapple, packaged thanks to the aid of a machine capable of automatically and less eliminating the skin and the central core of one minute. The ingenious machine was invented by the American engineer Henry Gabriel Ginaca in 1901 and made possible the industrial production of the fruit that the "King of the pineapple" James Dole, president of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, began to export abroad and in very large quantities. For over half a century, Hawaii has been the largest producer and exporter of these fruits, reaching in the sixties even 80% of the packaging of canned pineapples in the whole world. Then the economic crisis of the early seventies brought to its knees the sector and production began to move gradually elsewhere.Today this fruit is grown in tropical areas of the entire planet, representing a precious source of income for the exporting countries.

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