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A new pineapple crop comes to fruition

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A year ago I wrote about a delicious pineapple, the Hawaiian Crown Sweet Gold, grown in Kunia where pineapple once dominated the landscape. Hawaii Pineapple Co. has been tending its fields well in the past year, and early tastings of its fruit are living up to its Sweet Gold name.

This pineapple has a deep golden flesh that has an intense pineapple flavor and lots of juice and sweetness. This year’s crop has been at farmers markets and supermarkets for a few months, but peak harvest is happening now and it looks like the harvest will be bountiful.

When you buy a Sweet Gold, the outside should be yellow and the crown green to reddish green. A yellow shell means the fruit has been picked mature and at its peak for flavor and sweetness. Remember that once picked, a pineapple does not continue to ripen, and its sugar content does not increase. Sweet Golds come in a variety of sizes, but size does not affect flavor — they are all delicious. Look for a blue and gold tag on each pineapple to be sure you’re getting a Sweet Gold.

Pineapple has about 80 calories per 1-cup serving, is rich in vitamin C, high in fiber and a good source of antioxidants.

A tip: Freeze chunks of pineapple and use them like ice cubes in a smoothie.

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Hawaii food writer Joan Namkoong offers a weekly tidbit on fresh seasonal products, many of them locally grown.

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