Dehydrated pineapple (Ananas comosus)

Pineapple, nana, or pina is a plant from the Bromeliaceae family. Originally from Brazil and southern Paraguay, pineapple spread around the world after Columbus found it on Guadalupe Island and brought it to Spain. Most of today's pineapples come from Southeast Asia, most of them from the Philippines and Thailand. An interesting fact about pineapple is that pineapple is actually a berry, and one plant can only produce one fruit.

Pineapple is a strong, durable plant. It grows in the ground, unlike many other species from the Bromeliaceae family, which grow epiphytically, which means that they grow attached to another plant. The pineapple plant grows about 1-1.5 meters in height, with pointed leaves up to 1 meter long, usually with sharp, distorted spikes at the tip. As the stem continues to grow, stiff, short leaves called the crown or tip grow on it.  At the time of flowering, the stem is extended and enlarged near the top, and small violet or red flowers begin to bloom. The flowers are pollinated by birds and usually develop small, hard seeds. The seed is not usually found commercially grown pineapple. Combining hundreds of smaller fruits into one form the fruit of the pineapple. The firm, waxy pineapple bark can be dark green, yellow, to orange-yellow when the fruit is ripe.  It takes about 18-20 months for pineapples to be ready for harvest.

Pineapple is rich in vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants. They can help boost the immune system, build strong bones, and help with digestion. Also, despite the sweetness, pineapple contains few calories. It also contains traces of vitamins A and K, phosphorus, zinc and calcium, and is especially rich in vitamin C and manganese. Another important fact is that it contains bromelain, which is a digestive enzyme that helps with digestion and reduces bloating. Bromelain is only found in fresh pineapple because heat treatment destroys it. Therefore, it is good to eat pineapple at the end of a meal.

In the process of canning pineapple, nothing is thrown away. On the contrary, factories make use of every part of the pineapple. The bark, ends and cores are used to produce various products, including alcohol, vinegar and food for animals. Pineapple is greatly appreciated because it can be fully utilized. The Red Spanish pineapple variety was once intensively grown in the Philippines. Its long leaves were the source of traditional piña fibers, which were woven into sumptuous lace fabrics, usually embellished with intricate floral embroidery known as calado and sombrado. The fabric was a favorite because of its light and fresh quality, which was ideal in the hot tropical climate of the island. 

Pineapple is prepared and sold on the road in many tropical countries as a snack and is a common ingredient in Hawaiian, Filipino, Indonesian and Thai cuisine. Pineapple pieces are used in desserts such as fruit salad, but also as a pizza topping, or as a grilled burger ring. Crushed pineapple is used in yogurt, jam, sweets and ice cream. Pineapple juice serves as a beverage and is also a major ingredient in cocktails such as piña colada and Mexican tepache.

Dehydrated pineapple lasts longer than fresh pineapple, which, unless fully utilized the same day, can be thrown away the next. Dehydrated pineapple is ideal for bar usage for optimal use of the whole fruit and ease of use of the fruit itself. Botanica's dehydrated pineapple has already been cleaned, and it just needs to be inserted into the drink as a final touch. It's the perfect decoration for tropical tiki cocktails, soft drinks, smoothies, desserts, ice cream, meat dishes, and as an addition to fruit salads. Likewise, dehydrated pineapple can be eaten as a quick and healthy snack. It also goes well with coconut, chocolate and cinnamon.

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Dehydrated apple (Granny Smith)

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