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The Jamaican Pineapple

I’ve been eating pineapples all my life but it wasn’t until about a year ago that I discovered that there are different varieties. On a recent visit to Croydon Plantation (more on that later), I tasted the Cowboy, Ripley and Sugar Loaf.**

Ripley Pineapple

The Ripley

Some Pineapple Facts

The pineapple was brought to Jamaica from South America by the Tainos, the island’s first inhabitants. The Spanish took it to Spain, then to Hawaii and the Philippines, and other countries.

Five golden pineapple can be seen on the red cross on the Jamaican Coat of Arms, which has been in use since the 1600s.

Jamaica Coat of Arms, pineapples

Jamaica Coat of Arms

Pineapples are cultivated island-wide but the main growing areas are in the parishes of St. Elizabeth, St. James, Westmoreland and Portland, and the main reaping time is from May to July. Most of the pineapples grown here are consumed locally.

Besides being delicious, the pineapple is an excellent source of Vitamins C, B1, B6, copper, manganese and dietary fiber. It can be eaten fresh, baked, juiced, or even grilled.

Fresh pineapple juice can be used as a meat tenderizer.

The pineapple can also help to prevent inflammation.

All of the fruit, except for the top, which can be replanted, is eaten here. We combine the peel with ginger to make a delicious drink (recipe follows).

**Del Monte scientists have developed a new strain of pineapple variety, the MD2, which is sweeter, grows to a uniform size, ripens evenly, and has a longer shelf life.

How to Peel a Pineapple

Using a sharp knife, cut from top to bottom.
Remove the eyes by cutting a long V-shaped channel diagonally down through the centers of the diamond
Remove the crown and the bottom end.
Cut into slices and remove the core from each slice, or leave the core in. (I eat the entire slice, core included.)

Pineapple Ginger Drink

Peel of a fresh pineapple, washed. You can also use the fruit but the peel holds more of the flavor.
2-4 ounces of fresh peeled ginger
4-5 cups water
Reserve a few chunks of pineapple to garnish
Maraschino cherry to garnish

Bring water to boil. Add pineapple and ginger to a metal pot or large pitcher that can withstand heat (you don’t want to use anything that would leach into the drink). Let steep overnight. Strain off the juice and add sugar to taste. Add ice. Garnish with pineapple chunks or a Maraschino cherry.

Did you know that there are different varieties of pineapple?


This is my submission to Travel Photo Thursday, which is organized by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.

This week, I’m also linking up with the Friday Daydreaming series organized by Becca at Rwethereyetmom. Hope to see you there!


  1. I love pineapples and what a beautiful photo you took – all you have to do is change your perspective sometimes, right?
    Jackie Smith recently posted..The Gift of GreeceMy Profile

  2. Hi Marcia, what an interesting history bit about pineapple! Who knew? No, didn’t know there were several varieties of them. And I like their names – Cowboy, Ripley and Sugar Loaf 🙂 Thanks for the Pineapple Ginger drink recipe. Would love to try it.
    Marisol recently posted..Memories of Buenos AiresMy Profile

  3. Thanks, Jackie. It’s so simple yet it makes a difference all the time.

  4. I’m a pineapple fan too but didn’t know there are different varieties! Grilled pineapple and vanilla ice cream make an easy, fast and wonderful dessert.
    Debbie Beardsley recently posted..The Grandeur, the Fall and Rebirth in PotsdamMy Profile

  5. I learned about the different varieties during an extended trip through Central America several years ago – after coming down with a stomach problem when I ate a few too many of a small variety I bought for about a dime apiece in a market somewhere in Honduras. I still love the fruit, but do curb my enthusiasm when eating it. 🙂

    Thanks for the drink recipe, two of my favorite flavors.
    Bob R recently posted..James’s Flamingos – Pic de JourMy Profile

  6. That’s a colorful pineapple. Silly question: does it taste the same as other pineapples?

  7. Love that you gave instructions for peeling a pineapple because it always seem so intimidating for me! I’m definitely going to remember this post next time. And the drink sounds so refreshing and delicious–will be putting that one aside too!
    Kate recently posted..A Visit to Arizona’s Biltmore Hotel: Mom & Toddler’s TakeawaysMy Profile

  8. I had no idea that pineapple peel was edible. Well, steepable (is that a word?). We enjoy pineapple and ginger. I’m sure this beverage would be a hit at our house. Thank you.

  9. Do I ever like the sound of that pineapple drink! I guess I hadn’t really thought about the different types but it makes perfect sense. They are one of my fave fruits – just wish we had them farm fresh the way you do.
    Great photo of the Ripley.
    Leigh recently posted..The Not-To-Be-Missed Maligne Canyon Icewalk in JasperMy Profile

  10. We have three varieties in the markets in Townsville, North Queensland. I don’t know their real names. We call them Rough Skins, Smooth Skins, and the latest one is a hybrid which is large and super sweet. Part of life in the tropics is having fresh pineapple on the table at a BBQ. We do not have one the colour of yours. Ours are all variations of yellow/orange.
    budget jan recently posted..Budget Travel Interview with Krista Bjorn from Rambling TartMy Profile

  11. I didn’t know there were different pineapple varieties. Is it sad that Hawaii is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear pineapple? Now I’ll know for my next visit to the Dole Plantation about varieties. I didn’t know about its history in Jamaica either. I don’t remember it in the Philippines either 🙂 Thanks for the tips and I’m trying out that drink mix.
    Mary recently posted..5 Fun and Free Things to do in Austin with KidsMy Profile

  12. Hi Marcia 🙂 I found your blog through your comment on Jan’s interview of me this week. I loved reading about pineapple today. 🙂 I didn’t realize there were so many different varieties. I too have been studying the benefits of pineapple, and tried a delicious new drink this week. Mmm. 🙂
    Krista recently posted..Italian Inspiration and an Australian Easter BreakMy Profile

  13. So interesting – I had no idea that there was more than one form of pineapple!
    Lisa Goodmurphy recently posted..Viva Las Vegas (With Kids)My Profile

  14. I didn’t either, Lisa. I’m beginning to think every fruit has more than one type.
    Love fruits!

  15. Hello Krista,
    Thanks for stopping by. Great to read about your adventures.
    Pineapples are very nutritious and delicious. Do you have many varieties in Australia?
    Would love to hear about your pineapple drink.

  16. You’re welcome, Mary. I think Hawaii is the largest or is among the largest exporters of pineapples so it’s not surprising that you think Hawaii first. Like Del Monte, Dole’s probably come up with their own variety that’s sweeter and has a longer shelf life than the ones we grow here.

  17. It’s one of the best part of life in the tropics — all the fresh fruits we have. The photo I have of the Ripley is an unripe one. If I’m not mistaken, it turns another yellow-ish when it’s ripe so it could be one of yours. Would be great to compare notes, eh?

  18. Thanks, Leigh. Hope you get a chance to try the drink – it is really refreshing and delicious.
    Oh, maybe you’ll get some fresh ones when you go to CR later.

  19. Haha, yes, steepable. It is. But if you prefer, start with the fresh pineapple. Enjoy!

  20. I do know what you mean, Kate. Peeling a pineapple can be intimidating but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be doing it in no time.
    Hope you enjoy the drink.

  21. I guess it does. Some pineapples are sweeter and a bit more yellow than others but they all have the same unmistakable taste.

  22. You’re welcome, Bob. Hope you get to try it one of these days.
    Sorry to hear about your stomach problems. I guess it’s not good to eat too much of anything, eh?
    Hope it wasn’t too serious.

  23. The things you learn on the internet. LOL! I only thought there was one kind.

    Now to wait for them to be in season here….
    Cheryl recently posted..Things for Children to do in St LuciaMy Profile

  24. Fascinating! I love pineapples!! The picture is gorgeous too!!

    Thanks for linking up!
    Becca recently posted..Friday Daydreamin’: Happy Birthday to my Travel Girl!My Profile

  25. I MUST try that pineapple drink! Sounds divine!
    Tricia recently posted..Zion CanyonMy Profile

  26. I tried the white Kona Sugarloaf when I was in Hawaii. It was so very fantastic. I still think about that pineapple…
    EverywhereAmy recently posted..Friday Five! – Five Photos from the Fort Worth Cultural DistrictMy Profile

  27. That’s a good questions, Marcia. I honestly didn’t know there were varieties until I read your post. 🙂 But I will look from now on. 🙂 My favorite drink right now is one pineapple, 2 pears, 1 can coconut milk whizzed up in the blender. SO good. 🙂
    Krista recently posted..Italian Inspiration and an Australian Easter BreakMy Profile

  28. Ha Ha – A pineapple taste-off 🙂
    budget jan recently posted..Fantastic Friday Sapa ReflectionsMy Profile

  29. I love the red colour of your pineapple. Ours are all a yellow/orange colour. The pineapple ginger drink sounds refreshing.
    jenny recently posted..Pickle Heaven in Istanbul!My Profile

  30. I never thought the pineapple could be so beautiful either-wonderful colors!
    Sensibletraveler recently posted..Photo of the Week: Loch Ard GorgeMy Profile

  31. Very interesting fact. Pineapple is one of my favorite fruits and I didn’t have any idea that there was more than one variety.
    Dylann Andre recently posted..Different Types of Leadership StylesMy Profile

  32. I had no idea there were different varieties either. The drink sound delicious and healthy.
    Laurel recently posted..Bamberg: Germany’s Largest UNESCO SiteMy Profile

  33. There’s a wealth of information in this post about pineapples that I never would have dreamed of, Marcia! And, no, I didn’t know that there were different varieties.
    Andrew Graeme Gould recently posted..Santiago, Chile: Photographing with a friendMy Profile

  34. Thanks, Andrew. I’m sure you have a few varieties in Chile, right?

  35. You’re probably like most of us, Laurel, only interested in whether it’s sweet or not.
    Hope you get to try the drink. Do you get pineapples in Germany?

  36. Actually no, Marcia. The climate here is temperate, and our pineapples come mostly from Ecuador, as do the bananas.
    Andrew Graeme Gould recently posted..Santiago, Chile: Photographing with a friendMy Profile

  37. I become crazy when the topic of discussion is pineapples. I love this amazing fruit since childhood, my whole family has nicknamed me as pine, because of my love for this great fruit. I was not at all aware with the jamaican pineapple, it looks serene and adorable. Reading the facts about pineapple was a treat. Thanks for the share.
    Aayna recently posted..Reasons to Hire an SEO CompanyMy Profile

  38. You’re welcome, Aayna. Great to meet someone who’s crazy for pineapples. I love them too!
    Glad to share those pineapple facts with you.

  39. I should have thought of that, Andrew. I used to buy strawberries that were imported from Chile.

  40. Not to worry, Marcia. With so many contacts round the world, it must be hard to keep track of everything.
    Andrew Graeme Gould recently posted..Santiago, Chile: Photographing with a friendMy Profile

  41. Thanks, Andrew. That’s a very kind thing to say.

  42. That recipe sounds delicious. I must try it soon. There are different varieties of pineapple available at my local wet market. The stand usually has them cut-up and can tell me the flavor characteristics of each one like sweet vs. tart. Great picture!
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..Getting Lay’s in ThailandMy Profile

  43. I cannot resist this fruit now. Thanks for sharing the useful information about this yummy fruit. I do not eat raw pineapple but love it in the form of ice cream, shake or smoothie.

  44. Nope, I had no idea about all the varieties of pineapple. In fact, I didn’t know any of the interesting facts, including how the pineapple came to Jamaica and even Hawaii. Thanks for the tips, too.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Getting Around BudapestMy Profile

  45. I love pineapples and would eat them every day if possible. That photo of one with red tinges is beautiful. 😉
    ElizOF recently posted..Humor: How & When To Avoid Making Eye ContactMy Profile

  46. Love pineapple, and that is a gorgeous shot. When I’m in Thailand I buy it from the fruit vendors ready to eat. It’s not only delicious, but very cheap!
    Nancie recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday — April 11th, 2013 — Silver Smithing in Chiang MaiMy Profile

  47. Thanks, Nancie! Good to know they’re delicious and cheap in Thailand. I’ll look forward to eating lots of it when we go there next year.

  48. It is quite beautiful, isn’t it? I’d never seen one that color before — it’s not quite ready yet.
    It changes color when it is. Like you, I could eat them everyday too!

  49. You’re welcome, Cathy. I was also surprised by the number of different varieties but as long as they’re sweet, it’s all that counts.
    Hope the tips are helpful.

  50. Now you’re making me think of a pineapple smoothie, Fatima. I can almost taste it. Yummy!

  51. Thanks, Michele. Glad you like the photo.
    I like that they tell you which is sweet or tart. I wonder if you have any of the varieties that we have here.

  52. I’m not surprised, Dylann. It’s only recently that I discovered that there’s more to pineapples than sweet and tart.

  53. It’s an absolutely beautiful fruit. The colors are so deep and rich, it’s hard to not notice it.

  54. That could be another variety of pineapple or it could be yellow/orange because it’s already ripe. The one in the photo is not quite ready yet.

  55. Hahaha, yes!

  56. Oh, that sounds delicious, Krista. I’d love to try it but without the pears as we don’t have those here. I think it’d be a great drink, even without the pears. Thanks for sharing!

  57. The name alone sounds delicious – white Kona Sugarloaf, especially the sugarloaf part — no wonder you still think about it, Amy.
    Wonder if it’s available in Florida.

  58. Hope you get to, Tricia!
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  59. Thanks and you’re welcome, Becca. You should have pineapples in Texas now, right?

  60. Hahaha, Cheryl, it’s probably better than the library and more convenient too!
    Yes, I thought the same thing too. You know, there are probably different varieties of all kinds of fruits.

  61. Thanks for that dessert, Debbie. I’ll definitely be trying it the next time I have some fresh pineapples.

  62. Hope you get to try the drink, Marisol. Ginger makes everything taste more delicious.
    Yes, the names are pretty cool, especially the Cowboy. I can’t imagine why they’d call it that.