Sugar Loaf Pineapple
Inventory, 10 ct : 0
This item was last sold on : 06/24/17
Sugarloaf pineapples grow at the center of green, spiky-leafed plants. After the purple-tipped flowers have bloomed, they give way to small fruitlets that grow and coalesce into a larger, more compact fruit. Sugarloaf pineapples require a 12 to 18-month maturation period and they are picked when ripe. They are cylindrical in shape, smaller than the more common yellow pineapple, and have a slight bottleneck towards the crown. The green lance-shaped leaves are edged with spikes. The outer rind is thin, and remains green even when Sugarloaf pineapples are ripe, with the eyes a golden yellow. The flesh is bright and pearl white, with a soft edible core. Unlike common yellow pineapples the central core of a Sugarloaf pineapple is not woody. The fruit has a floral aroma and a sweet taste, absent of any acidity. Sugarloaf pineapples are extremely juicy and can weigh up to 6 pounds (with some even reaching 10 pounds).
Sugarloaf pineapples are available in the mid-to-late summer months.
Sugarloaf pineapples are a white variety, scientifically classified as Ananas comosus, and are members of the Bromeliad family. Availability of the unique pineapple is limited to its native, tropical growing regions, though they are exported all over the globe. The name is a reference to the sweet flesh of the pale pineapple. Sugarloaf pineapples were named after a ‘sugarloaf’, which was the traditional way refined sugar was produced until granulated and cube sugars were introduced in the late 19th century. The sweet pineapples are also known as White Sugarloaf pineapples, Kona pineapples (sometimes Kona Sugarloaf), or Brazilian White pineapple. The Sugarloaf pineapples from Hawaii are seedless, as are all Hawaiian-grown pineapples. To maintain the quality of the pineapples grown there, the state forbids the import of hummingbirds, the main pollinators of the fruit.
Sugarloaf pineapples are an excellent source of manganese and a good source of potassium, calcium, vitamin C and fiber. They also contain magnesium, phosphorus, copper, folate and vitamins B1 and B6. The all-around nutritious fruit has anti-inflammatory benefits as well as digestive and immune support.
Sugarloaf pineapples are most often eaten fresh. The fruits are picked ripe, and are best eaten within a few days. They can be used in cocktails, blended drinks, baked goods or salads. Pair with other tropical fruits such as banana, coconut or papaya. Juice, puree, freeze or grill slices. The high sugar content lends well to caramelizing and browning. Pineapples ripen from the bottom up, so the lower portion may be sweeter than the rest of the fruit. To balance sweetness throughout, remove the crown and place the fruit upside down in the refrigerator for a day or two. Store cut-up pineapple in an airtight container for up to a week.
Sugarloaf pineapples are economically important to two distinct growing regions: the island of Kauai and the small coastal African country of Benin. In Kauai, Kona Sugarloaf pineapples are grown by three family farms and they are exported from there to the other islands, and to the mainland (but not to California, Florida, or Alaska). The pineapple industry in the Republic of Benin began around 1985, and has since stretched into Ghana and Togo, as well as Nigeria. In 2014, the Nigerian government instituted a program called ‘Agribusiness Opportunities in Pineapple Production for Unemployed Youths’ in an effort to help reduce poverty and increase food security and exports in the country, as well as bridge the gap between supply and demand of pineapples.
The origin of Sugarloaf and other white pineapple varieties is South America. Pineapples originated in South America, and spread to the Caribbean and other South and Central American countries by the time of Columbus’s arrival. They were brought to Hawaii by the Spanish in the 1500s. They were brought to West Africa, Asia and the South Pacific by the Portuguese by the end of the 16th century. Some say the pale cultivar originated in West Africa; however, one Hawaiian Sugarloaf farmer believes it was a natural mutation of a smooth cayenne variety discovered on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. Despite the tales, white pineapples are still grown in South America, where they are often referred to as Pan de Azucar. At one time, they were cultivated in Puerto Rico. There are several different strains of Sugarloaf pineapple, and other white varieties such as abacaxi or pernambuco, though the former may be a descendant of the latter. The United States Department of Agriculture does not allow exports of pineapples from Hawaii to certain states on the mainland and vice versa to Hawaii from the mainland. Sugarloaf pineapples are most often found in Kauai and may be grown by other small farms throughout Hawaii. In Western Africa, Sugarloaf pineapples are grown in the countries of Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria, which sit on the Gulf of Guinea just north of the equator. They are also grown in the small Central African country of Rwanda. In the continental United States, they are only grown in southern Florida. The sweet pineapples will only grow in areas with ample rainfall and temperatures that do not dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Recipes that include Sugar Loaf Pineapple. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Inspired Taste||Spicy Avocado and Pineapple Salsa|
|eCurry||Anarosher Chutney – Indian Spiced Pineapple Chutney|
|Confections of a Foodie Bride||Pineapple-Marinated Beef Fajitas|
|Food Network||Glazed Sugar Loaf Pineapple Lobster Salad|