I am taking a class this semester called Food and the Senses. Part of this class is crafting lab experiments, and I will be sharing some of my projects with you.
I was at Wegmans during Valentine’s Day weekend and saw pink pineapples on sale. As an avid pineapple lover, I have wanted to try one ever since I first found out about them a couple years ago. Wegmans was selling them for $15. I was a little mad at myself for spending that much on a pineapple. Though when I came home and looked them up, I realized how much of a deal that was. These fruits usually sell for $50 or more. So, I was glad I took my chance to get one reasonably priced.
Why do these pineapples cost so much money? Basically, because they are unique and not mass produced. It takes two years to grow these pineapples, which is why they are just recently becoming available on the market.
PinkGlow pineapples are a trademarked genetically modified crop that took over 12 years to develop. They look just like a regular pineapple on the outside, though I did notice the skin on the ripe fruit is still golden and not green.
Pineapples naturally have both lycopene and beta carotene. Lycopene is the enzyme that gives red or pink pigments, and beta carotene gives the yellow pigment. These pineapples are genetically engineered to produce less beta carotene and more lycopene, resulting in a pink fleshed fruit.
The question most people have then is whether the modification changes its taste. The simple answer is yes, though I don’t have the scientific understanding to explain why this is.
I had never tasted a pink pineapple before, but I have eaten plenty of pineapple. I am known for being obsessed with pineapple. I wanted to see if I could pick out this new pineapple variant out among yellow pineapples. Alongside the pink pineapple, I bought a standard pineapple and an organic pineapple and did a blind tasting.
As I suspected, I was unable to differentiate between the standard and organic pineapple. However, I was able to pick out the pink pineapple quite frankly because it tasted different than the others.
The pink pineapple has the exact same texture of a standard pineapple, but it is sweeter and less acidic. It reminds me a little bit of a papaya, but that still doesn’t adequately compare to the taste. It truly is not something I have tasted before, but I really liked it. There was that confusing moment where my mouth communicated that I was eating a pineapple, but my brain shot back that this is not really a pineapple.
What I learned from this exercise was that my food memory is in tact. I easily knew that what I was eating was unfamiliar to what my brain knows to be a pineapple. As simple as this lab was, it was really exciting to have that pink pineapple for the first time and experience the thrill of being unable to describe the taste. At this stage of my food adventures, it is so rare for me to eat something completely foreign to my tastes. I can’t say I will be jumping to buy more of these expensive pineapples, but I am glad to have had this experience.
*This post reflect my honest views. I did not receive any compensation or other incentives to post this review.