Ananas comosus (L.) Merril
This pineapple variety differs from the smooth cayenne for being less acidic and sweeter, more fragrant and juicier – therefore, better to be eaten fresh. The vast culinary uses for pineapple include homemade sweet and savory preparations such as juices, cakes, jams, trifles, ice creams, salads and sauces. Because pineapple is high in bromelain, a digestive enzyme, the juice is often added to marinades to tenderize meats. In the North and Northeast regions of Brazil, a beverage is prepared with pineapple skin soaked in water to sip for several days: the aluá, a legacy of indigenous people. To find out if a pineapple is ripe, just do a simple test: pull one of the leaves off, it should come out easily. Pineapples can be found year round, but the best ones are harvested from September to December in Brazil.