Goodness of the golden fruit

Goodness of the golden fruit

Goodness of the golden fruit

The pineapple is a herbaceous perennial in nature. The juicy tropical American fruit grows on a short stocky-stemmed plant with sword-shaped spiral leaves. The large fruit has tough, thick, thorny segmented skin, which has to be liberally sliced to reach the edible yellow portion.

The fruit is known for its properties of breaking down protein. The active enzymes - brosmolin and bromelain in the fruit have curing properties; while brosmolin, which is similar to pepsin, relieves dyspepsia, digestive and bile problems, it also heals wounds and scars faster.

A blood purifier, replete in organic acids like citric and maliec acids, pineapple is a good source of dietary fibre. This healthy fruit maintains the alkaline balance of blood and is said to prevent water retention in the body.

The word "pineapple" was first used in reference to the pine cones of the Conifer trees. It was the European explorers who came across the fruit in the Americas, and called them "pineapples", as they resembled pine cones. However, in scientific binomial the word ananas comosus comes from the Tupi word nanas meaning excellent fruit.

In Hawaii, the fruit was cultivated and canned throughout the 20th century. Though canning is a way of preserving it, there is nothing like consuming pineapple in its natural state.

Though the strong aroma of the fruit is a bit overpowering, it is a favourite with Indian cooks! Pineapple can give salads, chats and puddings an interesting twist. A dash of the fruit elevates the simple Indian sweet, sheera to "pineapple pudding", while lightly steamed pineapple pieces along with mangoes and grapes in mildly spiced coconut gravy, forms a side dish for traditional festive fare of the Gowd Saraswat Brahmins.

Put on your thinking caps and invent more dishes with this bounty of nature!