I’m not sure if it’s just me but whenever people find out that I’m a ‘foodie’ a common question I’m asked is “so what’s your favourite food?”. I’m sure anyone who is passionate about anything would vouch that this is a pretty impossible question to answer with there being too many intangibles factored in before you could even start to consider a short list. Ask me what my most hated food is though and the answer is easy and comes without thought – pineapple.
This normally causes a bit of a chuckle as it seems a fair few people out there love a bit of it. I’ve been told stories of the delicious sweetness of it, the juiciness of a fresh sweet fruit eaten in the hot sun in the Caribbean being one of the best things they have ever had. Well I’ve not been lucky enough to head out to that part of the world and am happy to admit that this might well be a reason as to why I don’t see pineapple in a favourable light. Unfortunately though for this one particular fruit the damage has been done as my food memory had been tainted by a rather unfortunate incident.
From what a couple of Googles tell me pineapple cookery in the UK – a country far away from native pineapple producing countries such as Brazil, Thailand and the Philippines – is dominated by puddings and desserts. Indeed my most recent run-in with one has been at Dinner where what looked (and indeed was) a fine dish, his 30 minute booze basted tipsy cake was served alongside pineapple and with this clearly being so central to the design of the dish I had to look elsewhere. Unfortunately for me I first came into contact with them as a young lad in the form of a savory dish.
by Richard Beatson – www.flickr.com/photos/richardbeatson/4430720126/
I think it’s fair to say that pineapples in English savory cooking don’t show them off in their best light. We have gammon steaks with pineapple rings chucked on top and the ‘classic’ dinner party favourite of pineapple on sticks. While pineapple chutneys from India and Mexico look kinda appetising the main stream shows that we’ve inherited from abroad things such as Chinese sweet and sour dishes where due to the amount of sticky glutinous sauce it’s sometime hard to distinguish between the meat and the fruit and; over from our friends in the States the Hawaiian pizza – the root cause of my disdain. Now it’s easy to say that ham and pineapple on a pizza is wrong but in the early 80′s to a child learning about new foods I hope you can see the temptation.
by Steven Depolo – www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3068969143/
The reality unfortunately was my being sick. Very sick. And to today I can still remember the taste of it – the sickly sweetness and the strong almost unnatural smelling perfume. A rather unsavory fact is that, similar to peas, it seems that it ‘comes out’ looking rather similar to how it went in. I did indeed try and slice of tipsy cake pineapple but I’m afraid to say that no, that taste memory still remains and it really is unpleasant.
I hope that clears up a few things.
Additional pineapple picture provided by Derek Rose – www.flickr.com/photos/derek7272/1420343003/Tweet