Thursday, July 1, 2010

89. Rum-Pineapple Fluff 'n Crunch for Two, Fresh and Sweet

The word pineapple automatically makes me think of Hawaii and, for years, I erroneously thought most pineapple came from there; in fact, Southeast Asia dominates world production and Costa Rica leads in fresh pineapple exportation.

Thanks to the internet, I also found out that everything I had been told about selecting a good pineapple was wrong, wrong wrong. I thought that ripeness could be detected by pulling the center leaf out easily...and that leaving the pineapple on the countertop for a few days added to the ripening process. When I looked at a bin of pineapples, I thought that a less green shell was a way to detect a riper fruit...and I always passed up buying the smaller pineapples...

 According to the Dole website you should know the following when picking out a fresh pineapple:

1. Select a pineapple that is plump and fresh. The larger the pineapple the greater the proportion of edible fruit...but, a larger pineapple won't necessarily be better.

2. The color of the outer shell is not necessarily a sign of maturity or sweetness. In fact, a pineapple can be ripe when the shell is green.

3. Ease in pulling leaves from the crown is NOT a sign of ripeness.

 4. A pineapple gets it sweetness from the plant base. Once it is cut, it will not become any sweeter nor any more ripe.

5. They sooner pineapples are eaten after delivery, the better.

6. If you cannot eat it immediately, store the pineapple in the refrigerator...

Another story that surfaced during my childhood involved the Dole Pineapple plant and their drinking fountains...I emailed Dole about this story and here is their reply:

Aloha Diane and thank you for your recent inquiry.

The infamous pineapple juice fountain actually existed in the 1950’s and all the way through the 80’s. The fountain was shut down in the early 90’s due to some health issues. Unfortunately, there came a time when we just couldn’t control the amount of pineapple bugs and gnats that it attracted on a daily basis.

It was definitely something to have experienced and we truly miss being able to serve our visitors from the big pineapple faucets!

Mahalo again for your interest in Dole Plantation.
Kara Gorgonio
Operations Supervisor

If you like pineapple, you probably love the new super-sweet varieties found in most grocery stores today...a variety that was not available several years ago. This new strain, under names like Super Gold and Sweet Golden,  is sweeter and less tart than regular pineapples and has 3 times more of vitamin C.

Fresh pineapple is still a treat for my family and when pared and cut, it somehow finds its way into breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. Today's recipe is easy, quick and a great way to enjoy sweet pineapple goodness. You will love the unique blend of flavors.

Diane's Rum-Pineapple Fluff 'n Crunch for Two

8 slices fresh pineapple
Whipped topping, lite or regular
2 T water
1 tsp rum flavoring

Cut fresh pineapple into slices. Put 8 slices into a flat storage container or bag and pour water and rum flavoring over slices; toss gently. Make sure all slices have contact with flavored water. Cover and refrigerate until chlled.
Nut crunch:
2 tsp Smart Balance
1 T sugar
1/4 rounded cup chopped pecans

In a skillet, melt margarine over med-lo heat; add sugar and nuts. Cook for 3 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly. Lightly sprinkle nut mixture with cinnamon. Mix and stir for 1/2 minute more. Remove to a piece of lightly greased aluminum foil until cool.

To serve, fan out four pineapple slices on a dessert plate. Put a dollop of whipped topping on the smaller fan end and sprinkle with coated nuts. Serve.

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