Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Big Pine...Apple

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If New York is the Big Apple,
then Hawaii is the Big Pineapple!


I grew up spending summers in Hawaii and visiting the former Dole Cannery in Honolulu. Call me crazy, but I enjoy pineapple juice more than I enjoy the actual fruit. But today, I was in the historic plantation town in Maui's Upcountry. The Hali'imaile Pineapple Company operates the only tour of a working pineapple plantation in the United States.



Maui Gold Pineapples*

As a guest of the Hali'imaile Pineapple Company, we toured their 1,500 acre plantation and saw the different fields and stages of growth.



Fields of young plants*

There are 31,000 pineapple plants per acre and takes 18-24 months to grow a pineapple. Optimum growing temperature is between 70-90 degrees F, not to go below 50 degrees F. So, if you try to grow one at home, your best bet is to grow it inside.




Not quite a pineapple yet...



It's harvest time,
still picked by hand.

Talk about being in the weeds...



Selecting the ripe pineapple


Similar to picking watermelons,
the hollower the sound the better the pineapple.



Maui Gold Pineapples

Pineapples are picked for 3 different groups:

1. For Mainland Consumption: Green in color, 15% acid and juicy.

2. For Hawaii Consumption: Green in color, 10% acid, not as juicy and more of a caramelized flavor.

3. For Other Products: Gold color (ripe), 5% acid, might taste bland or very sweet like candy. Uses may include wine, puree, feed for cattle, etc.




875 Hali'imaile Road
Hali'imaile, Maui, HI 96761
(808) 665-5491


A Special Treat:
All tour guests go home with a Maui Gold Pineapple!


To get the most out of your pineapple at home:

1. Twist off the crown
2. Stand it upside down in the refrigerator
The juice from the bottom will run throughout the pineapple, crystalize
and will be juicy throughout.


Mahalo!
Charlene Ka'uhane
Maui Visitors Bureau



NOTE: I was a guest of the Maui Visitors Bureau and their partners.
I thank them for their invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.



Photos by Jay Terauchi
*Photos by Maui Pineapple Tours
Jay Eats
© Jay Terauchi

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