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With its sweet and sour taste, the pineapple brings the warm south to your plate. Thanks to modern means of transport, the fruit is available in German supermarkets all year round. She has come a long way to do this, because it is only cultivated in warm countries. The following article takes you on a journey around the world and provides exciting facts about the origin and production of the golden yellow fruit.
origin and distribution
The pineapple comosus originated in northern Brazil and Venezuela. Christopher Columbus, who was given a welcome gift by the Latin American natives with the sweet fruit, then imported the fruit to Europe. Although America is still considered one of the most important suppliers, nowadays pineapples grow in almost all countries that have a sufficiently warm climate. The following countries produce the largest crop yields (descending order):
- Costa Rica
German grocery chains obtain their goods primarily from the Ivory Coast, Costa Rica, Ghana, Honduras and South Africa. Due to the numerous growing areas, the pineapple comosus is available in this country all year round. Spain is the largest export nation in Europe. However, the pineapple grows there in the glass house.
Every pineapple plantation offers different conditions, so that there are now countless varieties of the fruit. In order to roughly subdivide these, there are mainly five special types:
- most consumed variety
- light yellow flesh
- very aromatic
- weighs up to four kilograms
- cylindrical fruit
- orange-yellow skin
- slightly smaller fruits
- narrow, curved, prickly leaves
- up to 1.3 kilograms in weight
- sweet and aromatic
- intense yellow flesh
- long, narrow, spiny leaves
- up to 2.3 kilograms in weight
- very fibrous
- white pulp
- red-yellow skin
- long, narrow, spiky leaves with a red stripe
- white yellow flesh
- cylindrical shape
- green yellow shell
- The main growing areas are Venezuela and Brazil
- used as food there
- long, broad leaves with a light green base
- intense yellow flesh
- red-yellow skin
soil and climate
The only requirement for growing pineapples is a warm climate with temperatures of 24-30°C. Values below this range will result in stunted growth and brown spots in the flesh. However, temperatures below 15°C will cause the plant to die.
A rainfall rate of 1000-1500 mm per year promotes the yield of the pineapple comosus. However, no waterlogging should form in the soil. The plant grows reliably in sandy, peaty soil, with a pH below 5.5 being important. Otherwise, the fruit makes no special demands on its location. Even long periods of drought and extreme heat are well tolerated.
Pineapples also grow in shady locations, which is why they are often found under mango, cashew or palm trees. Long trenches are dug on the plantation and covered with dark foils for better heat development. To place the pineapple cuttings, holes are cut in the foil. Since the plant requires relatively little water, drip irrigation is sufficient. After one to two years, the first yields are brought in. After harvesting, it is common to pull more fruit from the side shoots. A single pineapple comosus plant produces about two to three fruits.
Not everything is gold
The sweet taste and the golden-yellow flesh have given the exotic fruit the nickname of the "queen of fruit". However, the plantation economy has been criticized by environmental activists. Because in recent years large amounts of the rainforest have been cleared to make room for cultivation. Plantation owners often use salty fertilizers and sprays to increase the nutrient content of the soil while avoiding weed growth. In addition, monoculture at the same location always encourages the emergence of pests and the spread of diseases.
Fortunately, organic farming has now caught on in some countries around the world. Annual crop rotation prevents the criticisms mentioned above.
From flower to fruit
Pineapple grows on a trunk. First, purple-colored flowers form. They grow together into a fruit that only really begins to ripen when the buds have faded. It takes several years for the fruit to form its sweet, aromatic pulp.
The cuttings of the fruit are actually obtained from the tuft, which could immediately be planted in the ground. However, it is important to ensure that no residues of the pulp are planted, as the plant would quickly rot in this case. However, the pineapple comosus is sold together with the crown of leaves. Therefore, the side shoots are used for propagation. These so-called saplings are characterized by their rapid root formation. For new breeds, however, the method of pollination has proven itself.