10 strange pineapple facts

by John Pope

A list of ten strange and interesting facts about pineapples. Including oral sex, tenderising meat, and how to clean a machete blade.

This article first appeared on John on Food in June 2009, and was constantly the most popular article on the site until it was moved to here in January 2012.

Pineapples are really very strange things. It would probably be reasonably easy to write a whole book, albeit a small one, containing things that most people don’t know about the spiky topped fruit. Partially because I’m not sure that anyone would buy the book, but mostly because I just can’t be bothered, I am instead going to just keep it down to these 10 interesting (I think) facts.

  1. There are a lot of foods that affect the taste of your seminal or vaginal fluids, but pineapple is one of the strongest. Eating a lot of pineapple makes you taste sweeter, and less ‘fishy’.

  2. When you cut up a pineapple at home, you normally chuck the skin, core and ends in the bin. The pineapple canning industry doesn’t though, these bits are used for making alcohol, vinegar and animal feed.

  3. Each pineapple plant only produces just one pineapple per year.

  4. Unripe pineapples don’t just taste vile, but can actually be quite poisonous. Eating it causes serious throat irritation and it has a strong laxative effect.

  5. Pineapples grow slowly, and can take up to two years to reach full size, so we pick and eat them when they are much smaller, but if they are left to their own devices they can reach up to 9kg (20lbs).

  6. If you want to speed up the ripening of a pineapple, so that you can eat it faster, then you can do it by standing it upside down (on the leafy end).

  7. Traditionally pineapple juice was used as a diuretic and to induce labour.

  8. The Bromelain enzyme in pineapples breaks down proteins. This means that you can use pineapple or pineapple juice as a meat tenderiser.

  9. The same Bromelain enzyme means that you can’t put fresh pineapple in jelly, because it breaks down the gelatine. You can stop this from happening by boiling the chunks of pineapple in their juice or in water for a few minutes, or you can use canned pineapple.

  10. In case you find yourself on a sailing trip in the tropics without any Ajax, you might like to know that pineapple juice mixed with sand is very good for cleaning boat decks and machete blades.

Fact #1 is also the inspiration behind our very first scientific survey – which you can find here: The pineapple sex test


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