Pineapple...How Sweet it is!

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It's hard to beat the sweetness of pineapple grown right here in Hawaii. Believed to have first been brought to the islands in 1527, pineapple remains a popular crop today. In fact, Hawaii produces one third of the pineapple in the world. And while you may be familiar with the look and taste of this delicious fruit, what you may not know is that growing pineapple is no easy task. It takes 18 to 20 months for a plant to produce it's first pineapple and another 13 to 15 months to produce the second fruit. Also, each pineapple must be planted by hand. Thus, as the pineapple industry grew at the turn of the century -- with companies like Dole setting up large plantations, laborers came to Hawaii from around the world to work in the pineapple fields. Starting work well before sunrise, they performed physically demanding tasks on the plantations while dressed in heavy clothing to protect them from the pineapple plant's sharp leaves.

Ripe pineapples have green leaves and a firm body. They should have rounded "shoulders" and the "eyes" should be flat and not too pointy. The "body" should be bright yellow, but may also have some green. But I think one of the easiest and best ways to pick a ripe, tasty pineapple is to do the "smell test" -- smell the stem end to make sure it has a sweet, fresh scent. Be sure to try Hawaiian Crown Sweet Gold pineapple grown here in Hawaii and available at Food Pantry Eaton Square, Food Pantry Kuhio, Napili Market and Foodland. They're easily recognizable by the blue and gold label, and I really think it is the best tasting pineapple around. Check out this great video of a visit to the Hawaiian Crown farm from our good friends at Foodland.com.

And if you love pineapple -- or know someone who does -- there is no better gift than our Pineapple Plush. Available in a variety of sizes and even on a cute keychain, this happy and adorable stuffed pineapple is a fun way to share or celebrate aloha!

Don't forget to check out all of our pineapple themed products on our Online Shop, as they make for great gift ideas too! From handmade Maui Soap Company Bath Soaps, to Pineapple scented Candles, and pineapple shaped serving bowls and cutting boards, we've got you covered!

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