First grown in Australia on a commercial scale in Nundah and later in Kangaroo Point, St Lucia and Fortitude Valley the small Rough Leaf Pineapple is said to have come to Brisbane with German missionaries in 1838.
Today the Queensland pineapple industry has adapted to changing market conditions and produces a range of modern pineapples like the Mareeba Gold that their grower, Piñata Farms, say: "have a sweet and succulent, bright golden flesh with low acidity and a mild, pleasant aroma". These fruit are more typical of the type of pineapple you are likely to come across in the supermarket or fruit shop these days.
Pineapples take around two years to grow and are high in vitamin C, are a good source of dietary fiber and manganese.
Once harvested pineapples do not continue to ripen or get any sweeter. The following steps may help to determine the ripeness and condition of a pineapple.
The pineapple should have a sweet smell without any scent of fermentation; if it has no smell it is not ripe
The colour of the pineapple can give some indication of whether it is ripe although some varieties are considered to be ripe when they are green, a balance of green and yellow seems to be right most of the time
A pineapple should feel heavy for its size and have no cracks, bruises, mould, leaks, brown patches or withering leaves if the leaves are present.
The eyes should be fairly flat
When squeezing the fruit it should feel firm with a little give
The shorter a pineapple has travelled to market the better condition it is likely to be in
Remove the ends with a sharp knife
Stand the pineapple on its end and cut into quarters
Cut off the core from the quarters
Lie the quarters flat and cut slices through the fruit but not the skin
Slice along the skin towards the middle of the quarter then turn the quarter around and repeat
The prepared fruit can be kept in the fridge for up to six days in an airtight container although it is best used sooner rather than later.