POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jul 21, 2010
Kamaaina know a good pineapple: intense pineappley flavor, low acid and sweetness. That's what you'll find in Hawaiian Crown Sweet Gold Premium Pineapples, now in season.
This pineapple lives up to its "Sweet Gold" name. The deep golden flesh is candy sweet and denser than other varieties. The flavor is excellent - the kind of flavor we used to get when pineapple was Hawaii's dominant crop.
Craig Bowden and Tom Menezes, partners in Hawaii Pineapple Co., are trying to get back to that "old-fashioned" pineapple we grew up with. With fields in Kunia, pineapple country, they have developed a variety that eats well.
But that's not all that matters here: They are growing the fruit for flavor, not volume. Pineapples develop all their sweetness and flavor components on the plant, so picking the fruit at its peak means you get a great-tasting, quality pineapple.
"Sweet Gold" pineapple is sold at Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market and Foodland stores. You'll know you've got the right one if there's a blue and gold tag attached. Read more at www.hawaiiancrown.com.
Look for freshness in the leaves, yellow exterior with a little background of green and no bruising (pineapples look tough but can bruise during shipping). Size does not determine flavor or sweetness, so full-size premium or baby pineapples are equally good. Delicious pineapple will be plentiful through early fall.
Hawaii food writer Joan Namkoong offers a weekly tidbit on fresh seasonal products, many of them locally grown. Look for "Fresh Tips" every Wednesday.