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Snack pineapples are small in size, averaging ten centimeters in diameter, and are cylindrical to oval in shape with short, dark green leaves forming a spikey crown. The rind matures from green to orange-yellow when ripe and is waxy and semi-rough with a hexagonal pattern of spiny nodes. Underneath the rind, the bright yellow flesh is soft, fragrant, moderately juicy, and tender, containing less fiber than common pineapple varieties. The flesh also contains a unique central core that is crisp, soft, and edible. Snack pineapples have a high sugar content mixed with low acidity creating a sweet, candy-like flavor.
Snack pineapples are available for a limited season in the summer.
Snack pineapples, botanically classified as Ananas comosus, are categorized as a collective fruit, which means it is comprised of multiple nodes or “berries” fused to a central core. Belonging to the Bromeliaceae family, Snack pineapples are a small, specialty variety that is believed to be a variation of the famous Indonesian bogor pineapple. Snack pineapples are primarily produced in Okinawa, Japan, and were created for fresh eating. The small pineapples have a unique structure that allows the nodes to be individually removed piece by piece.
Snack pineapples are a good source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help boost immunity within the body and protect against free radical damage. They also contain vitamin B6, manganese, fiber, potassium, folate, copper, and bromelain, which is an enzyme that can help increase digestion.
Snack pineapples are best suited for raw applications as their sweet flavor is showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The bottom of the pineapple is commonly sliced, removed, and each small hexagonal node is torn off from the core to create bite-sized pieces. Snack pineapples can also be sliced and tossed into green salads and fruit bowls, blended into smoothies, or used as a topping over cakes, ice cream, and other desserts. Snack pineapples pair well with fruits such as oranges, mango, pears, grapefruit, apples, passion fruit, bananas, and peaches, black garlic, tomatoes, soy sauce, peanuts, and meats such as poultry and fish. The pineapples should be used immediately when ripe for best flavor and can be lightly wrapped and stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to one week.
Snack pineapples are considered to be a “fun fruit” in Japan and are commonly shared as a snack or dessert by a group of family or friends. The small fruits also gained notoriety via social media when a video was published showing the nodes being removed individually into bite-sized pieces. This video went viral globally, especially in the United States, and many consumers attempted to try the “pineapple challenge” with many different varieties of pineapples.
Snack pineapples are native to the Okinawa prefecture in Japan where they have been cultivated since the 1920s. While the exact origins of the pineapple are unknown, they are believed to be a variant of the bogor pineapple and are mainly grown on Okinawa Island, Ishigaki Island, Miyako Island, and Iriomote island within the Okinawa prefecture in Japan. Today Snack pineapples are found at specialty grocers and farmers markets in Japan and are also found within select regions throughout Asia and Southeast Asia.
Recipes that include Snack Pineapples. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Okinawa Bridging Asia||Preparing Bogor Pineapple|
|YouTube||How To Eat a Snack Pineapple|