The multi-fruited pineapple

Pineapples are a tropical fruit, originally native to South America. There are still wild relatives of the pineapple found there today, including one that, unusually amongst plants, opens its flowers at night, when it is pollinated by bats, and closes its flowers during the day.

Pineapples are actually not just one fruit – they’re a composite of many formed around a central core. Each small fruitlet has its own eye, or rough, spiny marking on the surface.

When the Spanish arrived in South America, the pineapple was a popular food that had been cultivated around much of the continent, as well as nearby islands such as the West Indies, and was used by them to protect their sailors against scurvy, a disease caused in particular by vitamin C deficiency.

The English word ‘pineapple’ was originally used to describe what we today call pine cones. Due to their similarity in appearance, the term was used to describe the fruit, and only much later was the term ‘pine cone’ recorded.

Pineapples have a short shelf life, and like many other tropical fruits, should not be refrigerated unless cut.

Pineapples are a fantastic source of the trace element manganese, which is important in energy production as well as in supporting antioxidant defences. They have moderate amounts of Vitamin C, and there’s also mounting evidence that pineapples support digestive functions, although how isn’t clearly understood yet.

But what better way to find out than to try for yourself, as of course we have pineapples on offer, as well as a whole host of fresh fruit and veggies.

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Have a great week,
the Co-op team