Sunday, July 17, 2011

Shadows from our Colonizers

One weekend, I strolled inside the property, under the coconut trees and near the small ravine where forest trees were growing tall. Birds have been returning to our piece of land since those trees were left growing wildly, after the death of my father. Mixed with these trees are 2 tall Lagerstroemia speciosa, 2 mango varieties, an endemic tree producing the Manila elemi resin and a lot more trees i already consider as collections. I saw lots of other medicinal vines growing on top of the canopies. I have been wishing for a long zoom lens to document birds roosting there.

In some clearance on the ground some pineapples are growing. I remember planting this when i was still in high school. This is the red Spanish variety whose fruits are smaller and more fibrous than the common hybrid Smooth Cayenne introduced by the Americans. However, as kids we love eating them when not yet fully ripe, the stage with more pleasing taste. Enterprising Filipinos, extract fibers from leaves of this variety to produce the 'piña cloth' for our Barong Tagalog, the national dress for special occasions. ''Pina" fiber is expensive and elegant. I hope you see our Barong Tagalog on TV during formal occasions. When foreign dignitaries visit the president, they use Barong Tagalog also for respect to the host country. It also makes beautiful and elegant wedding gowns, table runners, pillow cases, linens, curtains.   This weekend i will again harvest 3 more fruits left on the plant. I guess it is more nutritious and healthy than the other two varieties. I will be healthier next week when i get back.

already ripe fruit, Red Spanish variety

 almost mature fruit, Red Spanish variety

still immature fruit, Red Spanish variety

Three pineapple varieties are now here in the country. This Spanish variety together with the Queen variety was brought by the Spanish colonizers. . The 'Queen',  which is more elongated and less fibrous, is good as table pineapple, but difficult to transport because fleshy and easily bruised. The 'Smooth Cayenne' variety, the most common for export, was introduced by the Americans . This is the variety being used by Del Monte and Dole pineapple for canning, and also more common on the tables. It is now one of the country's major exports. The Japanese being our third colonizers, brought other things, but not pineapple.


  1. Not that I am not a fan of the usual yellow/green Hawaiian pineapples we consume on the east coast of the USA -I do. But the red hue of these fruits is beautiful, so bold and different in style. We buy these for the sweet tasting fruit, but the red color is so nice!

  2. I like pineapples on pizza. They are delicious on its own too. I'll refrain from being kiasu and not post on pineapples. :)

  3. You have me craving pineapples now:) Hope you're having a good weekend!

  4. Great photos. I love pineapples. They are great with so many foods, cooked or raw. I have never seen the red ones that you have pictured here. They are different, with their brilliant red color.

  5. I love the Thai-styled Pineapple fried rice. Besides eating the fruit raw, we also use pineapples to make curry, Penang laksa and rojak - a type of fruit salad. I'm sure the homegrown pineapple is the most precious and tasty.

  6. Stunning photos of this rich, and luscious looking fruit. I've not heard of the Red Spanish variety tho...I learned something, all thanks to you.

    My shadow this week is of a horn cleat [what you use to tie up a boat at the dock]


    Hope your weekend has treated you well.

  7. Hi Andrea! I don't think I've ever seen the Red Spanish variety, let alone tasted it. But frankly, I'm not the biggest fan of pineapple, even when it's ripe and sweet. It's just too acidy for my taste, although dipping it in salt water as you eat it helps.

    [I am indeed back home, busy packing for a move to a new house. Luckily it's only five houses up on the same street and we have weeks to make the move, so it's not going to be so painful.]

  8. What beautiful pineapples.

    How interesting that there is a cloth made from the leaf fibers.


  9. Oooh yummy pineapple! Your pineapples look much more interesting than the ones we have here in Australia. Thanks so much for joining in Shadow Shot Sunday :)

  10. Interesting. I thought there was only one variety of Pineapple. Those red ones look fab.

  11. Lovely shots! The pineapples look yummy!

  12. Essa fruta é refrescante e nutritiva. Amei as fotos!

  13. There's nothing like the taste of a lovely pineapple. I'm sure they must taste so much better straight from the garden rather than from a supermarket shelf.

  14. I bet that's sweet!

    My shadows, hope you can visit and see. Have a great week ahead!

  15. Lucky you to be able to grow pineapples! I saw one in a public greenhouse the other day and wished I could pick it....

  16. I don't parrticularly care for the color of pineapples. If they are sweet, then that's all I need to know. :-D

  17. Thanks for the info about different kinds of pineapple, and the different growth stages. I like that you planted the plant yourself.

  18. Red pineapple, very different, mind you none of them would grow in our cool conditions. Terrific clear pictures, Myra open the Delmonte!

  19. Nice picture and information. In our country pineapples are imported from Philippine. I love eating it.

  20. The pineapple is one of the very few tropical fruits I can buy here. They're usually from Hawaii. And I can say ours taste much sweeter... I think :)

  21. I learned so much about pineapples from your post. The Red Spanish variety is really amazing!

  22. Ralph - I've seen the giant famous plantation in Hawaii where you see all pineapples from all sides of where you are standing. We actually don't use the Red Spanish Variety for commerce, it is mainly used for fiber extraction. I just plant it for my collection of exotics.

    One - i also love the Hawaiian pizza, i believe whenever they put pineapple it is normally called Hawaiian. That is how famous the Smooth Cayenne variety done in Hawaii is!

    Rohrerbot - Thanks for the wish and i am glad i titillate your craving.

    Jeanett - a actually feature this red variety because i know it is not common. thanks for dropping by.

    Autumn Belle - it is not as good in the palate as the Smooth Cayenne or the famous variety used for canning.

    Hootin' Anni - i am glad i have imparted a little knowledge today. Thanks for your visit.

    Francisca - you have not tasted the best quality, so the bad experience lingered in your mind. haha. You have not only been moving countries, you also move houses!

    Flower Lady - yes it is very ingenous of them to translate the leaves into excellent and elegant clothes.

    Hey Harriet - Hey! I actually posted it for information, mostly. Thanks for hosting the Shadow Shot.

    Bridget - thank you for dropping by, i am glad to have shared uncommon information.

  23. Dawn - it is nice to see your comments here, i appreciate it.

    Tatjana - i appreciate that. thanks.

    Miriam Luisa - yes it is refreshing and nutritious, delicioso tambien!

    Rosie - the differences in taste and sweetness also depends on variety aside from its length in storage in the shelves.

    Chubskulit - i've been to your site already.

    Masha - yes it is a tropical plant, so the US mainly produce it in Hawaii where the climate fully fits its requirements.

    Bom - i did not plant this for eating, this is only for collection. Ripe fruits are just secondary.

    Sara Chapman - i like planting exotics and endemics in our property, especially this one which has long been disappearing.

    Alistair - maybe you get your pineapple cans from Hawaii too, or maybe there are plantations in the Caribbean where climate is like ours.

    Birdy - yes pineapple is one of our top export crops. However, it is the Smooth Cayenne, not this red Spanish variety.

    Solitude Rising - fruits for canning are picked at lesser maturity than those for the fresh market. You are blessed as you taste the higher quality fresh ones. They are all 'Smooth Cayenne' variety.

    Dona - I am glad to have imparted some new information with this post, that is usually my purpose. Thank you.

  24. Ran into this blog by doing research on pineapple varieties. I recall in Hawaii the Dole pineapple garden display of various pineapples throughout the world. I love all the diff ones and have not seen a red in ages in person or in pics. I wish I could grow one at home but can not find one to buy for the top. I grow pineapples and love the ones from the Maui Pineapple company. Got one from Mexico that was really good too once. Not sure if it was good because it was the variety or because it was left to ripen on the plant not picked early then shipped. Wish pineapple companies would let them ripen on the plant because that's when they taste great. I know since I grow them at home. I know the growers don't do that because they are afraid if they don't sell fast they'll rot in the stores. But somehow at Smart & Final they had some that were ripened on the plant. You can tell the diff between ripened on the plant or picked before ripening and it yellowing in transit or in the store. Looks and taste different.

    That Spanish Red doesn't really look red when ripened, huh?


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