National Pineapple Day

There is some dispute about the actual date of this holiday, but it at least started on June 27 in 2015, and so I am featuring it today. As I read somewhere online, it is a day to celebrate a fruit that is neither pine nor an apple. Instead, it got its name because someone thought it looked like a giant pinecone.

One reason I love this holiday is that my Dad, who was a grocer, was out visiting me on the west coast, far from his grocery store in the east. We were in the supermarket where I shopped when unexpectedly a woman approached him and asked how to pick out a ripe pineapple. We always teased him afterward that he must look like everyone’s idea of a grocer.

Pineapples are native to the Americas. They are herbaceous perennials, meaning they are leafy, not woody, plants that grow for more than two years. Like broccoli, when you cut off the main head, it will produce more fruit. Once harvested, they no longer continue to ripen, which gives them a long shelf life. According to an article called “Superfruit: Pineapple” Pineapple is known “for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Bromelain, an enzyme found in the juice and stem of pineapples, has been used medicinally since ancient times to help reduce inflammation, lessen hay fever symptoms, slow blood clotting, and even enhance the absorption of antibiotics. More than just anti-inflammation, researchers suggest bromelain can be used to control the growth of tumors and malignant cells.” It is also full of fiber and vitamin C, and although high in sugar, is low in calories. You can even make pineapple wine.

Pineapples are also a symbol of hospitality. This comes from a time when they were hard to obtain, having to come from the Americas via ship. When a pineapple was displayed at a dinner party, the guests knew no expense had been spared, and thus the pineapple became to signify hospitality. You will often find doilies crocheted with the pineapple to show they are welcoming guests to the home. They are sometimes carved on dining room tables for the same reason.

So have some pineapple today, either in slices or chunks out of a can, or get adventurous and buy a whole one at the store. Drink pineapple juice, or make a pineapple upside down cake. Or even – shudder – put it on pizza. Above all, enjoy!

Quotes about pineapples

He is the very pineapple of politeness.–Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Love is like a pineapple, sweet and undefinable.–Piet Pieterszoon Hein

I like pineapple. It’s delightful.–Sarah Drew

Somebody’s been putting pineapple juice in my pineapple juice!–W. C. Fields

I was in Cancun, Mexico, sitting in a disappearing-edge swimming pool, on a bar stool that was actually under the water, watching palm trees sway in a sultry breeze against the unmistakable aqua splendor of the Caribbean Sea; drinking coconut, lime, and tequila from a scooped-out pineapple, with salt spray of breaking surf and sun kissing my skin. Translation: I’d died and gone to heaven.–Karen Marie Moning

I always like to start my morning with a good amount of fruit. I really like pineapple, particularly because of the enzymes that it has.–Cynthia Nixon

Upon a low-hanging branch sat Tarzan directly above the majestic, supple body as it forged silently through the thick jungle. He hurled a pineapple at the ancient enemy of his people. The great beast stopped and, turning, eyed the taunting figure above her.–Edgar Rice Burroughs

When life gives you lemons, sell them and buy a pineapple. How to better your life 101.–Davin Turney

Be a pineapple: Stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside.–Jacqueline Wilson

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