Pineapple is a
quintessential tropical fruit, evoking images of relaxing beaches, swaying palm
trees and refreshing umbrella-topped cocktails. The fruit is well liked in
India, though it is not a feature of many dishes as it is in other Asian
countries like Thailand and Malaysia.
explained in the book, “History of Food,” Pineapple’s origin is Brazil and
Paraguay. Europe’s first knowledge of the fruit came about when Columbus came
to Guadaloupe in 1493, and word since spread to the Spanish and Portuguese
voyagers. When the Spanish brought the pineapple to Charles V during his reign
between 1500 and 1558, he found the fruit utterly disgusting (partly due to its
spoilage while in transit). Like so many
other fruits, however, it quickly became en vogue in Europe’s aristocratic
green houses by the late 18th century.
has grown the fruit for centuries: In 1548, the Portuguese traders brought
seeds to India after visiting the nearby Indonesian islands. In fact,
missionaries from Australia first imported their plants from India’s soils
during the early 1800s.
Pineapple grows in the
country’s humid, high-rainfall regions along the Southern peninsula and the
hilly areas in Northeastern India. Areas that grow the fruit on a large scale
commercially include Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, West Bengal,
Karnataka, Kerala, and Goa; to a lesser scale, Gujarat, Orissa, Bihar, Tamil
Nadu, Orissa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.