ON THE MENU / FRUITFUL FINDS
WORDS & PHOTO KAY CHOOMONGKOL
The loveable pineapple
has a prickly exterior
yet hides a sweet
The taste shouts of
summer, and the fruit
has inspired motifs of
pineapple prints on
plenty of shirts and
Thorny spikes known as ‘eyes’ cover its pinecone-shape and the
pineapple’s green spiky leaves need careful handling, yet a bite
of this tropical fruit magically cools you. Sip any tangy fruit drink
with pineapple and it gives you a taste of paradise.
Thought to have originated in South America, the pineapple
was first discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 on the
Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. The fruit travelled to Europe
to be cultivated, but it was better suited to a tropical climate.
By the end of the 16th century, many European colonies with
warmer climes began growing them.
It also made its way to Thailand around the same time
and thrived. The sweetest and most popular pineapple is the
Batavia or Si Racha pineapple grown in Chon Buri, Phetchaburi
and Prachuap Khiri Khan. With a juicy yellow interior and bigger
in size, it tastes sweeter than the Phuket pineapple, so named
after its place of origin. The Phuket pineapple shares the same
characteristics with the petite Phu Lae pineapple. Both are pale
yellow, not too juicy but sweet and brittle with a bite. The other
two types are the heirloom Intharachit, found in Cha Choeng Sao
province, and Nang Lae, nurtured in Nang Lae sub-district of
Chiang Rai. Although not that juicy, the latter has a unique
honey scent and tastes very sweet.
The pineapple with its juice that’s sweet and tart is
adored around the world. It can be eaten fresh, juiced,
cooked or preserved, and crucial to a piña colada cocktail!
The fruit serves as a surprising ingredient in some Thai
savoury recipes such as Pineapple Curry with mussels or as
small bites in the royal cuisine inspired Thai canapés called
‘Maa Hor,’ with steamed mince pork on pieces of pineapple.
Try not to overindulge in its sweetness – too much
of the fruit and its enzymes can cause lips and tongue
to experience some sensitivity. Luckily, the delicious
fruit benefits the immune system, aids in digestion and