During the holidays keep an eye out for pineapple. It gets cheap around that time because it comes into season in the Caribbean in November and December which means our markets will have it cheaper than in the Summer. Once known as the fruit of kings, for many years pineapples were available only to natives of the tropics and to wealthy Europeans. It is fantastic dried and I would like to show you how to make a beautiful dried fruit lace with it.
A pineapple starts out as a stalk of a hundred or more flowers that shoots up from a plant about three feet tall. Each flower develops a fruit that forms one of the scales on the outside of the pineapple. The more scales or marks on a pineapple, the stronger the tropical taste will be. A pineapple with fewer and larger scales will have a milder but sweeter flavor and more juice.
Indians took pineapples on sea voyages as provisions and to prevent scurvy. Columbus called the fruit piña when he found it in 1493–piña because he thought it looked like a pinecone–and from that we got the name.
Many people think that if you can easily pull a leaf out of the crown, the pineapple is ripe, but this test doesn’t tell you anything useful. Like tomatoes, pineapples are considered mature when they develop a little color break. If a pineapple at the market looks green, take a look at the base. If it has begun to turn a little orange or red there, you’ll be able to ripen it at home. If there is no break, the pineapple was picked too green. It will have a woody texture and will never be very sweet.
In addition to making your house smell like the tropics, pineapples have many nutritional benefits. Pineapples provide useful digestive enzymes, several essential minerals, vitamins and fiber. They are also low in calories, rich in carbohydrates, fat free and versatile. Raw, juiced, cooked or canned, pineapples offer tremendous nutritional value.
To make pineapple lace you will need
A food dehydrator
1 pineapple peeled and food processed
1-2 bananas sliced thin
(This will make one tray in the dehydrator double for more trays)
Scrape the pulp onto a tray lined with plastic wrap.
Place thin slices of banana barely touching because they will shrink up. When it dries about 12 hours you will have a beautiful pineapple “lace”, hold it up to the light and admire it before biting in. It wont last the day in your house…