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Taste of the Top End – Pineapples

I love pineapples so much, their form is amazing and nothing says “tropical fruit” quite as well.

By Emma Lupin. 

I have to admit that, growing up in a non tropical home, I thought that pineapples grew on trees – until I caught my first glimpse of a pineapple farm with rows and rows of spikey Bromeliads harbouring fruit in the sunshine, quite near their place of origin in South America. And more than 18 years on, they are still a favourite. 

This time of year in the Top End, pineapples are in season – but only for a couple of months! They can be found at the local markets in Darwin and the rural area and are better than any long distance pineapples, as they are picked just ripe and are often small and sweet. They make great table or house decorations too, while they are ripening. They are easy to grow in a sunny spot in the garden and can be grown from the tops, or small pups at the side, but can take up to 18 months to mature.

Pineapples are great in salsas, refreshing drinks, drinking vinegars and in sweet and sour recipes – or even grilled as an accompaniment to other dishes.
I love making a little salsa (basically a salad with everything chopped finely) and also make this into a nummus, adding the base ingredients to pickled fish.

Easy Pineapple Salsa

1 medium pineapple 
2 small cucumbers (or 1 small  capsicum)
1 garden red chilli 
Half a bunch of sawtooth coriander
1 spring onion or red onion 
Juice of one small local lime
Fresh, grated coconut (optional)

Chop the pineapple and cucumbers (or capsicum) into small cubes. Finely chop the chilli, coriander and onion. Coconut can be added for a little sweetness.

Combine and serve.

Emma Lupin is a tropical plant specialist and local food enthusiast with passions for native habitat conservation and sustainable living. She is an environmental educator, community engager and encourages connection to the beautiful natural world, particularly our tropical home.

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Images by Emma Lupin.

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