It is interesting

Pineapple: Five Centuries of Dating

Pineapple is a herb with a short stem up to 1 m and a rosette of hard xiphoid leaves 50-100 cm long, dotted with sharp thorns along the edge. We know this plant for its fragrant, tasty seed, which looks like a huge cone.

Pineapple flower stalkPineapple blooms

Once in a lifetime, pineapple throws out a bright pink flower stalk about 60 cm long, covered with light purple nondescript flowers. The upper part of the peduncle is as if wrapped in cords of tightly seated flowers, rising upward in a spiral. Growing together with ovaries and bracts, the flowers form an ear. Pineapple blooms for 15-20 days, during which time a spiral of flowers blooms alternately, passing the baton of flowering to each other from the bottom up. The ear develops into a cone-like compound fruit, crowned at the crown with a tuft of vegetative leaves.

The axis of the peduncle made of a coarser conductive tissue is clearly visible on the section in the center of the seed. From the axis, in accordance with the spiral from the ovaries, the juicy tender pulp of the intergrown fruits departs to the sides.Only the tops of the tepals and the cover leaf remain free at the apex of each fruit, which can be seen in each cell of the peel of the resulting "cone". White ovules can be seen in the pulp of each fruit. In cultivated varieties, seeds are not formed.

Pineapples of different varieties on the counter

There are less than a dozen wild pineapple species in nature; they grow in the tropics of South and North America. As a result of hunting for wild species, the number of pineapples in nature is rapidly decreasing. Only a few species are suitable as a fruit crop. The most famous and "domesticated" of them is the large-crested Pineapple, or crested (Ananas comosus). We find various varieties of this type on store shelves.

Pineapple varieties differ in the shape, size and color of the pulp. The form of seedlings is cylindrical, conical, ellipsoidal and spherical. Juicy, fragrant, sweet and sour infructescence grow and ripen in 3-6 months, and the plant itself grows for 1.5-2 years from the moment of planting to fruiting. Fruit weight can vary from 800 to 3600 grams. Fruit size is highly dependent on growing conditions and pineapple variety.

As a rule, each plant produces a single fruit, after which the plant slowly dies off. At this time, layering babies begin to actively grow. Plants obtainedby planting children, especially root ones, they develop much faster than those obtained from the tuft.

After fruiting ...... pineapple gives kids

Currently, for amateur gardeners, methods for growing pineapple at home from a tuft have been developed and described in detail. And everyone can try to grow their own "home" pineapple.

Sailors trophy

Europeans first learned about the existence of pineapples five centuries ago. The first to taste pineapples were seafarers who reached the shores of Central and South America. By the time Columbus discovered America, Aboriginal people were already growing pineapples all along the coast from Mexico to Brazil.Struck by the taste of the food offered to him, Christopher Columbus first described it in 1492 as follows: "Looks like a pinecone, but twice the size, this fruit tastes great, is soft and very healthy." The name of the plant comes from the Indian word "ana-ana", which means "the smell of smells".

Navigators quickly expanded the region of distribution of this fruit: in 1576 it was brought to India, a little later to Indonesia, South Africa and Australia. But it was much more difficult to establish a regular delivery of pineapples to Europe on sailboats. Delays on the way and poor storage conditions led to the loss of the quality of the fruits, which were immediately loved by Europeans. An alternative to the hassle of delivery was growing pineapples at home. Suitable conditions for a tropical guest could only be created in greenhouses. But once having tasted a delicious fruit, European gardeners began to race to master its cultivation.The two main maritime powers - England and Holland - have already had experience in growing exotic plants in greenhouses. In the hope of a profitable trade in the rare fruit, the Dutch began to grow pineapples on a scale that could generate increased interest in the plant, but found it unprofitable without even bringing it to the first harvest.

The first edible pineapple in the greenhouse was grown in 1672 by the gardener of Princess Cleveland, who presented it to the English king Charles II. The king was delighted and immediately sent a court gardener to Holland to buy all the pineapple seedlings he had. To mutual joy, the Dutch willingly got rid of all the masterbatch specimens, selling them for next to nothing. So the greenhouses of the Royal Windsor Castle became the first site for growing pineapples in Europe and supplying them to the royal table.

G. Dankert.

The eternal rivals of the British - the French - became interested in the novelty and, despite the ban on the sale of planting material and the transfer of exotic plants in England, they got pineapple seedlings. Having tasted pineapple for the first time in 1733, the French king Louis XV ordered to immediately equip an expedition to South America and establish a special committee of culinary specialists to create recipes using pineapples.

In 1751, Louis XV, who was fond of botany, gave a magnificent celebration on the occasion of the delivery of pineapple children to the Great Greenhouse of Versailles. In memory of this day, Jean-Baptiste Oudry made a panel "Pineapple", which took its rightful place in the halls of the palace. In 1767, Louis XV ordered the construction of a large greenhouse for the cultivation of tropical plants in Trianon. Pineapple babies were one of the first inhabitants of this greenhouse. Here the natural scientist Jussier and the gardeners - the Richard brothers - grew tropical fruit for the royal table and experimented with acclimatizing pineapples.

Once appearing on the royal table, pineapple has become a prestigious decoration of all festive feasts. If funds did not allow to taste an outlandish expensive fruit, then it was rented to decorate the table.

The golden age of pineapple in Russia

The 18th and 19th centuries were distinguished by an increased interest of the aristocracy in geographical and natural science discoveries. A fashion for exotic plants flourished in society, which only fueled interest in growing pineapples. Greenhouses have become an integral part of the noble estate. On wealthy estates, greenhouses were built and equipped as a winter garden that could easily be converted into a living room or a dance hall.

Orange greenhouse in KuzminkiLarge stone greenhouse in Kuskovo

Pineapples appeared in Russia in the 18th century. At first, the Russians classified pineapple as a vegetable and equated it with cabbage. Count A.S. Stroganov, it was served as a side dish for stewed and fried meat, and at Count P.V. Zavadovsky - instead of sauerkraut, seasoning hodgepodge with pineapple, borscht and adding them to kvass.

In the phraseological dictionary in the article "Professor of Sour Cabbage", it is questioned that, among other things, sour cabbage soup was prepared from pineapples: “It is indeed a fact that during the time of Catherine II, so many pineapples were grown in the greenhouses of Russian nobles that they were fermented in barrels, and then sour cabbage soup was cooked from them. Since then, many pineapples have been spoiled in attempts to make meat soup from them. And home-grown professors do not know that in the old days in Russia sour cabbage soup was not called soup at all, but a drink like kvass. For example, here is how Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol completes the description of the first day of Chichikov in the provincial town of NN: "The day, it seems, was concluded with a portion of cold veal, a bottle of sour cabbage soup and sound sleep in the whole pumping wrap, as they say in other places of the vast Russian state."

Bottled sauerkraut soup is known to have never been served or served. So greenhouse pineapples intended for cabbage soup were marinated (in barrels, of course, what else could you have stored food more than two hundred years ago!), And then they made an effervescent drink "with seven malts", something like cider . "

Greenhouse in Tsaritsino

The fashion for growing pineapples soon reached Russia. Homemade pineapples from their own greenhouses have become a symbol of prosperity and success. The Russian nobility began to solve this problem with the hands of serfs. Pineapple greenhouses have appeared in many estates.

In the 19th century, books on gardening were published, including the features of growing pineapples in the middle lane. The scale of pineapple production in Russia and, especially, in Ukraine at that time reached almost industrial scale. About 3 thousand poods of pineapples were exported to Europe from Ukraine per year, which is almost 50 tons.

Pineapple has firmly taken its place in the greenhouses of Russian estates. This thorny capricious tropical plant was grown not in ceremonial greenhouses visited by guests, but in specially adapted pineapple greenhouses. In the 19th century, pineapples near Moscow were grown in the Uzkoye estate by Count P.A. Tolstoy, in Gorenki with Count A.K. Razumovsky, in the Moscow Neskuchny Garden of P.A. Demidov, in Arkhangelsk at B.N. Yusupov, in Kuskovo with N.P. Sheremetev, in the greenhouses of Tsaritsyn, in Marfino with Count I.P. Saltykov, in Kuzminki with Prince S.M. Golitsyn, in Lyublino with N.A. Durasov, in Ramenskoye with Prince P.M. Volkonsky and in many other estates. No less widely cultivated were “Petersburg” pineapples, a special cold-hardy pineapple variety was bred there, distinguished by a spherical form of fruit.

The cultivation of pineapples in the suburbs was fine-tuned by gardeners so well that the harvest was enough not only for generous decoration of the owner's table and gifts to friends and acquaintances, but also for selling such outlandish fruits on the market. For example, in 1856 385 pineapples were sold from the Kuzminki greenhouses. These tropical fruits were valued very dearly, the cost of each was comparable to the cost of a cow.

Let's look at the documents of the Moscow house office of Prince Golitsyn for 1856:


To the Moscow temporary merchant Yegor Vasiliev Botvinsky: 385 pineapples. 8 rubles each 75 kopecks per piece; grapes 3 poods 10 pounds for 60 rubles. for a pood; large strawberries 445 pcs. (for 35 rubles); late small pineapples 16 pcs. 3 rubles 50 kopecks. Total appropriation - 3630 rubles 25 kopecks. "

(The archival document is cited according to the text given by E.V. Oleinichenko in the book "Prince S.M. Golitsyn - the owner of the Kuzminki estate").

In middle-class noble estates, the pineapple pots were placed in "chimney greenhouses", in which, as in the "paired greenhouses" of larger farms, a ditch with humus was an obligatory heating element in addition to stoves with hogs (chimneys laid through the entire greenhouse). In wealthy farms, they specially bought waste from the tanning industry - bark, which gave the required temperature longer when rotting, in middle-income farms, the bottom of the ditch was lined with twigs of brushwood with leaves and moss, thus forming a drainage cushion, covering it successively with layers of earth, warm rotting manure, earth and sawdust. Pots with growing pineapples were placed in a layer of sawdust. During the winter, the contents of the ditch were interrupted twice, i.e. changed, while the plants should not have felt changes in temperature. After about a year or so of this growth, with regular careful handling of plants in large pots or tubs, the plants gained strength. Then came the moment of flowering and the formation of the ovary, after which the temperature was raised by 2-3 degrees in comparison with the growing regime. After 3-6 months, the pineapple harvest ripened.

Oleinichenko E.V. This is how he describes the technology of caring for pineapple babies on the basis of archival documents on the maintenance of greenhouses in the Vlakhernskoye-Kuzminki estate: “The pineapple greenhouses were set up with great care. The bark filled up in the ditch should not be too wet, because its decay accelerated. After 2-3 weeks, it warmed up to the desired temperature, and the pots with the growth were buried in the bark, which was renewed every 3 months.Land for pineapples was harvested in advance: young shoots - light, loose, with a small share of sand, adult plants needed land "heavy, dense and fat". It was taken from the bottom of the ponds and fertilized with burnt and crushed manure. The grown plants were transplanted no more than twice a year, otherwise the fruits grew small. The ventilation mode was very clear, because excessive heat could damage the plant. The fruits ripened by January-February ".

Growing tropical plants in the middle lane required a lot of work, methodology and skill. The abolition of serfdom in Russia in 1861 deprived the farmsteads of cheap labor, and most of the costly greenhouse complexes in wealthy aristocratic estates fell into decay, as happened with the Kuzminki greenhouses.

"Overseas" pineapples instead of "home"

A.K. Grell

By the end of the 19th century, pineapple cultivation technology was already based only on economically justified "capitalist" calculation. But the cultivation of pineapples, under certain conditions, remained profitable. Michurin's teacher Grell A.K. - the author of the theory of plant acclimatization and the book "Profitable Fruit Growing" - this is how he defined these conditions at the end of the 19th century: "For areas where firewood and building materials are very cheap, pineapples are profitable.".

How to make the cultivation of tropical pineapples economically justified and even profitable in the conditions of central Russia, A.K. Grell described in a series of his lectures. He described in detail all the experience and technology of growing pineapples up to the optimal sizes of greenhouses and greenhouses, the time of their interruption. Grell divided the laborious cultivation process into the following stages:

  • From May to mid-August, pineapple babies are planted at least 4 vershoks (= about 18 cm) in pots 3-4 vershoks (= 14-18 cm). In mid-August, well-growing babies are transplanted into 5-inch pots (= about 20 cm) and placed in an air greenhouse close to the frames, providing them with diffused light and ventilation.
  • In late August - early September, all pineapples are harvested for the winter in a newly prepared greenhouse with steam. In November, a moat with humus is interrupted, at the same time the grown-up children are transferred into larger pots. Water until the beginning of December only those plants that have dried out; after December, stop watering altogether so that growth stops. From the beginning of frost to January, the temperature should be maintained at 12-15 degrees using ovens and humus.
  • Pineapples are transplanted into large containers from March to mid-September of the following year as they grow, each time increasing the size of the pot by 1 inch (= 4.7 cm).
  • "Last year's kids, if they grew well, are already called planks." Well-growing planks are crossed 3 times - in March, June and early September. Since September, the planks are no longer sprayed. The best are selected from them and put separately - they are called fruit strips, because they will harvest next year.
  • The second wintering takes place according to the already worked out plan. In early January, the greenhouse is interrupted, the largest ones are selected, i.e. fruit strips, they are cleaned of dust, watered dry and begin regular watering. They are kept at the same temperature for two weeks, after which the temperature is raised to 17 degrees. Pineapple ovaries will appear in a month. The spring sun should be shaded, the light should be diffused. From February or March, they begin to spray all available plants. At the end of March - beginning of April, the greenhouse is interrupted, the planks are again cleaned of dust, the plants with fruit ovaries are taken away and no longer touched, leaving to ripen. The greenhouse continues to be heated throughout April, and in damp weather until half of May. In summer, in the heat, temperatures up to 32 degrees are permissible for all planks, but not higher than 35.

As you can see, the cultivation technology is designed for 2 years. Grell describes in detail "the device in winter greenhouses of lateral greenhouses, in which planks are planted in the ground to obtain fruits." Grell cites the experience of E.V. Egorova: “… Our famous fruit grower E.V. Egorov, owning a forest estate near the town of Klin, found it profitable to acquire pineapple trees and fruit greenhouses only because he has a lot of dead wood for heating. Pineapples and fruits give him up to 5,000 rubles of net income, and in other years and more "... Large horticultural farms have always required working hands. In Dubrovki in the 1890s. willingly took pupils for a small fee, so that “At E.V. Egorova, anyone will see ... in fact, how large expensive pineapples are obtained, for which they willingly pay 3-4 rubles per pound, and how medium-sized pineapples are grown, bought by confectioners in hundreds of poods at 50 rubles per pound. "

Through the labor of 19th century breeders in Russia, forcing varieties with a minimum growing season were bred - Zelenka razlivnaya and Granenka Prozorovsky. Even the names show the Russian roots of these varieties. It is them that Grell recommends for growing in Russia.

In the county of Cornwall in the south-west of Great Britain, pineapples are still grown in a greenhouse according to the technology of the 19th century, using natural fertilizers and straw to maintain the temperature and water regime of the growing pineapples. This scientific experiment literally yields expensive fruits: the cost of each pineapple grown there reaches £ 1000. But none of them were sold - as soon as the fruits ripen, they are given to gardeners as a reward for their hard work.

By the middle of the 20th century, mankind has appreciated another useful property of pineapple. It turned out to be a low-calorie dietary product. 100 g of pulp contains only 47-52 calories, but there is potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, copper and vitamins C, B1, B2, B5, PP and provitamin A. An important feature of the composition is the presence of the proteolytic enzyme bromelain, due to which assimilation of protein substances is accelerated. Bromelain, contained in large quantities in the stem and the stem of the fruit, is used in the food industry to soften meat, as well as in the leather and pharmaceutical industries. So when we take out the canned pineapple slices from the jar, we can be sure that the core of our circle also went into business.

Translucent Pine

The thorny, tough leaves of pineapple have also been used. From the conductive fibers of the leaves, a light, translucent, shiny and extremely durable fabric is obtained, which saves from the tropical heat and is called "pine" (from the English. pineapple). In the beginning, leaf processing and fiber extraction were done by hand, so the price of this material was extremely high. In 1850, Filipino planters even presented clothes made of expensive "pineapple" fabric as a gift to the very dignitaries - Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. With the growth of plantations, the technology for the production of Pine fabric was improved, from which exquisite linen and expensive men's shirts are sewn. Now in Taiwan and the Philippines, in order to obtain fiber from pineapple leaves, they are specially cultivated sowing pineapple(Ananas savitus). Some designers, such as Oliver Tolentino, have specialized in the production of Pine garments.

We are used to seeing on store shelves not only the pineapple fruit itself, but also numerous canned food from it. Pineapples are candied and dried in slices, compotes, juices, and jam are made. For the first time, they learned how to preserve pineapples at the end of the 19th century. By this time, pineapples were no longer a rarity in Europe, and the price for them fell. The abundance of the market was now provided by steamers, which quickly and reliably delivered pineapples from various parts of the world.

Canned pineapple rings

The remnants of processed raw materials are also used: the pomace from the fruit is used as feed for livestock, and flavored concentrates for the food industry are obtained from the peel. For a long time, Mexicans have been making a refreshing drink tepache from pineapple peel, pouring water and sugar on the peel and keeping it until fermentation begins for 2-3 days.

Pineapple is also a medicinal plant. Pineapple stem and pulp are applied to wounds and bruises by the natives of Central and South America to relieve inflammation.Currently, it is effectively used in the treatment of arthritis, bronchitis, pneumonia, burns, cardiac ischemia and infectious diseases. The juice is drunk to thin the blood, it has anti-inflammatory and anti-edema effects, lowers blood pressure and burns excess fat.

Over the five centuries of the history of crop cultivation, many varieties have been created. About 40 different varieties are grown in Cuba alone. Currently, the following are the most common:

Pineapple slices ...... of different varieties
  • Smooth Cayenne (Cayenne) with leaves almost without thorns and fruits weighing 1.5-2.5 kg. The shape of the fruit is cylindrical, the pulp is sweet, juicy, pale yellow. Cayenne is the oldest, widespread and best known variety. It is grown in Cuba, Hawaii, Australia, India and other tropical countries. The disadvantage of this variety is the long growth and maturation cycle. There is even a perfectly smooth Saint Michael variety. This variety of cayenne pineapple is grown on about. Sao Miguel (Azores).
  • Ripley Queen (Queen) with short light green thorny leaves and fruits weighing 1.0 - 1.3 kg. The second most common variety after Cayenne. An early ripe variety with rich yellow pulp. Widely distributed in Australia and South Africa.
  • Red Spanish with fruits weighing 1.0-1.5 kg, a vigorous plant with thorny leaves and a reddish-yellow fruit skin. The fruit is spherical with fibrous, sweet and sour pulp and strong aroma. The variety is resistant to diseases and can withstand long-term storage.

In the tropics, pineapples grow all year round, but even there winter and summer harvests differ in sugar content. In places of cultivation, summer fruits are used as a fruit dessert, and winter fruits as a vegetable side dish.

Pineapples, picked unripe, ripen perfectly during delivery and storage. The optimum storage temperature is +10 degrees, so your pineapple can perfectly wait for the appointed day in a cool place. Just do not forget that at temperatures below +7 degrees, it loses its aroma.

Ornamental pineapple varieties have also become popular. Pineapple variegated(Ananas comosus f. variegata) with white stripes along the edges of the sheet and Ananas comosus var. striata with yellow stripes and bright pink border. Miniature fruits 10-15 cm in size are cut for arrangement, tricolor pineapple bracts(Ananas bracteatus var.tricolor) is used exclusively for these purposes. Miniature pineapple with smooth, thornless leaves is also popular. Ananas "Candido" with a fruit size of about 5 cm.

Ananas VariegataAnanas candido

Emblem of the American Hotel Association

For five centuries, pineapple has spread throughout the world and everyone will like it. Donated to Columbus by the Indians, pineapple has become a symbol of hospitality. The American Hotel Association has made its image their logo.

Knowing all the useful properties and areas of application of pineapples, we only have to competently and with pleasure use the fruits of a tropical plant that is not at all rare in Europe.

Pineapple Recipes: Soup with Pineapple, Mushrooms and Turkey Fillet, Indian Soup with Pineapple, Lime, Cumin and Ginger, Thick Fish Soup with Cream, Pineapple and Basil, Creamy Chicken Pineapple Soup, Pineapple Lemonade, Festive Pineapple with Shrimp and berries in ginger filling, Chicken salad with pineapple and prunes "Festive", Pineapple and shrimps in boats from avocado with cognac, Spicy carrot salad with pineapple, Fruit dessert "Delight", Celery with pineapple, Pineapple island appetizer "Paradise , Pineapple sauce.


1. Oleinichenko E.V. "Prince SM Golitsyn is the owner of the Kuzminki estate", M., ed. "Yugo-Vostok-Service", 223 p.

2. Grell A.K. “Profitable fruit growing. Courses in industrial fruit growing and gardening, read in different parts of Russia "1896 Chapter" Pineapple planting and care for them. "

3. Phraseological dictionary, article "Professor of sour cabbage soup".

Photo by the author

Copyright 2023

$config[zx-auto] not found$config[zx-overlay] not found