“ Brand: Del Monte / Type: Pineapple „
We're pretty conservative in our household when it comes to fruit, with nothing more exotic or exciting gracing the fruit bowl than a few apples and bananas, as anything else just tends to get left until it's ready to throw away. My oldest son does enjoy having his 'fruit and milk' at school and came home from school one day badgering me for some fresh pineapple. Schools, eh - anybody would think they're trying to educate these kids or something!
I haven't bought fresh pineapple for years, which is why my son is so deprived and found it such a luxury. My other half can't stand them and I find the whole process of peeling, coring and then chopping up the fresh pineapple (and then trying to get rid of all the eyes that I've missed) to be a pretty messy and time consuming affair, only to then have the majority of the pineapple go to waste! In spite of that I do actually love the taste of fresh pineapple, especially the way it almost melts in the mouth if it's particularly ripe. I've bought tinned pineapple before but it doesn't live up to the taste of fresh, ripe pineapple at all and I just find it to be far too acidic compared to the 'real' thing.
Frozen chopped pineapple, under the Del Monte brand name, seemed like a good alternative although it was a more expensive option than the fresh or tinned version. I paid £2.49 for a 320g packet of frozen pineapple (which looks to be around the amount you'd expect to have from a single average-sized pineapple.) This is expensive and I was all the more annoyed to discover that the same product was on offer at Tesco at the same time for 'just' £1.99 per packet. I reasoned with myself that this could still be classed as good value as it would eliminate any wastage and faffing about, providing that the frozen stuff matched up to its fresh counterparts.
The pineapple comes 'fast frozen' in reasonable sized fairly uniform chunks, which makes it easy to remove just a few or as many chunks as needed. The fruit does need to be defrosted before it is ready to eat with the packaging indicating that two hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator is required. This seems to be a conservative estimate as I removed a large handful of chunks and left them out in the kitchen and they were thoroughly defrosted in around an hour (although I had made sure they were well spread out so that might have speeded things up.)
The most important thing is whether these lived up to the real thing and I was very pleased to discover that these taste exactly like fresh pineapple. I have faith in the Del Monte brand and the good old Del Monte man and he certainly said 'yes' to the right and totally ripe pineapple in this pack! The defrosted pineapple is slightly wet (as you'd expect) but the taste is that of a high quality pineapple served at the peak of its ripeness. It has that melt in the mouth quality which I love and just enough resistance in the texture of the pineapple to confirm that it isn't past its best. Lovely!
My youngest was not too keen on the taste but son number one was delighted and insisted on having pineapple as a dessert every night until we exhausted the packet. Perhaps my fears about lots of wasted pineapple might have been unfounded! He even used chopped up pieces of this pineapple on top of his own pizza and declared it the tastiest pizza he had ever tasted.
For us, then, this was a success - all the taste of wonderfully fresh pineapple without the mess and waste. Providing you plan ahead and remember to defrost chunks as needed, this is such a convenient way to eat fruit and avoids any added preservatives or additives such as the sugary syrup or juice involved in the tinned stuff. Quick frozen food is reputed to help to preserve vital vitamins as well so this seems a pretty healthy option. The only drawback is the price but, for households where pineapple is eaten infrequently or maybe by only one family member, this could work out just as economical in the long run, as no fruit needs to be wasted.
Pineapples are a favourite fruit of mine and I generally try to buy a fresh one at least once a week at a cost of £1- £2. The pineapple is a tropical fruit that takes at least 18 months to grow, unlike most other fruits which take approximately 4 months. They must be picked when they are ripe because they will not ripen once they are harvested.
However, a few weeks ago I noticed a BOGOF offer on Del Monte Frozen Pineapple at Morrison's.
For £2.89 you could buy 2 boxes of frozen pineapple so I thought I would give them a try.
Now Del Monte have the reputation for supplying delicious fruit in cans starting over 100 years ago with canned peaches. There adverts always stress that their produce is picked and packed at the peak of freshness to lock in all those vitamins, antioxidants and essential nutrients and that there are no preservatives, artificial colours nor unnatural flavours in their products.
The Del Monte frozen pineapple comes in a plastic tray with a cardboard cover that slips off, weighs 320g and contains 100% pineapple.
Nutritional Information per 100g
Energy 41 kcal
Carbohydrate 10.1g of which sugars 10.11g
Now 80g is considered to be counted as one portion of the 5 a day which I work out to be a quarter of the pack., which is about 9 reasonably sizes pieces.
The quality of the fruit is easy to see and is of course bright yellow. On peeling back the plastic cover you immediately get the smell of sweet, fresh pineapple as though you had just cut into a fresh one.
You have to defrost for 2 hours at room temperature or over night in the fridge.
However, once ready the taste is perfect. The pineapple pieces are sweet, lovely and juicy and have the texture of freshly cut pineapple.
No cutting nor slicing.
Can be bought and stored until its best before date.
Plenty for 2/3 generous portions.
Available all year round.
Expensive compared to the fresh pineapple.
Takes two hours to thaw, whereas the fresh pineapple only takes a few minutes to cut and prepare.
Now pineapple can be used in a variety of ways. I like to have it as a dessert on its own or sometimes with ice cream but I have also used it as a snack, on cocktail sticks with a lump of cheddar cheese, as a topping on Hawaiian pizzas, as a salad garnish and of course with gammon but I am sure there are a lot more recipes. As I was testing these I ate some of them on their own and then used the rest to complement a cheese salad later on that day.
Would I buy it again? Yes - if they are on offer - to have a supply in the freezer. Although I must admit I am going to try and freeze my own freshly cut pineapple to see if there is any difference as £2.89 for the frozen variety is expensive to £1.00 for a fresh one.