Scientific name: Ananas commosus
The pineapple originated in the American continent, in part of Central and South America. Wild varieties are still found in North-East Brazil. The Spaniards encountered the pineapple in Central America, and recorded the fact, while the Portuguese found it in Brazil.Undoubtedly, both immediately recognized its excellent qualities and distributed it through the tropics, because the fruit was unable to withstand long journeys to Europe, and consequently it was one of the first tropical fruits to be turned into a conserve, "unlike any other plant in history", according to Pio Correia.
Pineapples were introduced to the island of Santa Helena by the Portuguese in 1505, to Madagascar in 1549, and to India in 1518, "where there are great quantities of them throughout most areas", as Cristóvão Costa stated. Some oriental historians claim that the pineapple already existed in India before the Portuguese arrived, but they do not dispute the fact that was the Portuguese who taught how to use it and introduced better varieties from Brazil.Of the native plants of Brazil, Sebastião da Rocha saw "the pineapple as the foremost which, like the all-powerful king, crowns nature with a diadem of its own leaves, which encircle its head and surrounding it with thorns, which guarded like archers".
The fruit, with its excellent aroma and flavour, and number of medical properties, is consumed raw in the producing regions, and reasonable proportion reaches the markets of temperate regions in good condition, transport having become faster and more efficient, and there having been noticeable improvement in growing techniques and plant selection. Nevertheless, even today over 60% of production is used as industrial raw material (pineapple rings, chunks, juice, etc). In some places even the leaves are used to extract a coarse fibre.
One more sub-chapter in my master degree thesis. Hope you guys like it.