Pineapple Express

There are clear indicators that a girl has reached a certain threshold of food fanaticism: the number of conversations that include terms like ‘zest’ and ‘blanched’; a bookshelf whose resident fiction genre now comprises the minority; casual one-name references to Gordon, Ina, Jamie as though dinner party acquaintances.  All relatively benign, I am assured. Of course, there are also those points at which one realizes she may have just crossed over … as on the day she is presented with her very own homegrown pineapple.

A little odd-sounding? Sure. Though quite honestly, it is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received – a labor of love meticulously nurtured, sustained and defended against insect and other would-be assassins, given for no other reason than to share the delight of finally ripened fruit with a girl who’d appreciate it most.

In truth, the pineapple itself was little bigger than a softball (don’t let the clever camera angle fool you), nearly toppled by the crest of spiky green leaves sprouting from its top. I was also warned it would probably not be very sweet, since the plant was a first-generation transplant experiment of sorts, brought back from a recent visit to South America – to which I scoffed that it would be the best-tasting fruit ever eaten (and if not, I would certainly find a way to make it so).  I thanked my friend and promptly took it home to ripen on my countertop, a process that ended up taking about two weeks for the fruit to turn a warm honey color and to give off any sort of scent beyond the raw, pulpy smell of its cut stem.

I finally decided last night would be the occasion to see what my pineapple was made of. As I cut through the rough shell, I imagined how perfectly sweet the fruit would be, intense with the subtle tang that makes your tongue feel slightly fizzy at its tip.

In fact, it wasn’t. The flavor was fairly dull and still a bit green (I have high hopes for a pineapple salsa to top grilled mahi later this week). However, it did nothing to take away from the significance of my little gift and the generosity of a good friend. To whom I say a very sincere “Mahalo!”

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3 Responses to “Pineapple Express”

  1. Eileen Brooks Says:

    Hey gregogirlgirl, among the 100’s of varieties of pineapples I never had one I didn’t like. The enzyme in fresh pineapple that keeps gelatin from gelling also serves as a good meat tenderizer. Can’t wait to hear about your Mediterranean travels. Check out the nutritious pomegranate fruit and report back. thanks. egirl

  2. G-Man Says:

    Good save on the salsa gregogirl! You might experiment with a tasty and zesty chutney as well. BTW, I heard that you’ll be vacationing on the coast of Montenegro in September. Can we expect something with a Mediterranean flavor from the beautiful and rugged Dalmatian Coast?

    • gregogirl Says:

      hi G-Man, thanks so much for the comment! i’ll definitely be chronicling my travels, and you can expect MANY accounts of fantastic local dishes and stunning scenery.

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