Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published September 28th 2014
Sweet pines or sweet jam, the choice is yours
The first Pineapples introduced to Australia were the small but delicious rough leaf variety (rough skins) and it is thought they were brought in by German missionaries in 1838. These were the type I ate when growing up and they truly were very sweet. As they were of a smaller size it was very easy to eat the whole pineapple, core and all in one sitting.
The first commercial planting of the rough skins were established in Nundah in the early 1840s with the larger, smooth leaf variety (Smooth Cayenne) being introduced around 1858 from Kew Gardens in England. The main pineapple growing areas at that time were St Lucia, Fortitude Valley and Kangaroo Point (where the Pineapple Hotel remains to this day).
Just south of Maryborough on the Bruce Highway is a well-established pineapple farm on what has become known as 'Pineapple Hill'. Most days and especially on weekends, travelers stop to purchase pineapples which fortunately are available all year round as well as other seasonal fruit and vegetables. I find the Winter Pineapple not as sweet as the Summer Pineapple; however everyone's taste differs.
Usually a box of Pineapples from Sunstate Pineapples can cost the traveler $10 and as raw Pineapples are a good source of Vitamin C and Manganese, it is well worth the effort to pull into the siding to take a box of pineapples home. If eating them raw isn't your cup of tea, they why not make a delicious jam to spread on your morning toast.
Cut the pineapple in half and scrape out the pulp with a spoon or grate it on the coarse section of the grater. Place fruit in saucepan and add lemon juice and water. Allow to boil until pulp is tender.
Add sugar and boil until mixture thickens. Spoon into jars and store the bottles in refrigerator for up to three months. Some people like the jam to be a little burnt in taste and this can be accommodated when boiling.