I’d venture to say that evolving tastes can happen any time a once-rejected ingredient is re-introduced. You used to hate peanut butter, but now toast is not complete without its spread; green peppers were always be picked off your slice of pizza; mushrooms contaminated any dish. In my case, it’s pineapple. I used to hate pineapple because it gave my mouth sores after eating it fresh, and never opted for Hawaiian pizza because it was oddly sour. If it wasn’t for the subduing coconut, I don’t think I would have tried piña coladas, either.
At a friend’s house, she served pieces of pineapple that were sweet and best of all, no stinging ensued! So I’m starting to believe that maybe pineapples need not be avoided.. now that I’m paying more attention to seasonal fruits and vegetables, the summerlicious yellow of pineapples is being re-considered. For obvious reasons, pineapples are far from being local to Ontario, but we do indulge a little with the tropical when the weather tips toward the sun.
While my family tends to enjoy fruit right out of its skin, pineapple also works well with mangoes and papaya for a really colourful salsa. Cilantro, lime and cloves are complimentary spices to these fruits. Or, you can try dicing up pieces to add to the well-loved Chinese fried rice with shrimp. For a fancier touch, I remember that my mom would serve the fried rice inside a hollowed pineapple, reserving the leafy crown as a decorative lid.
Because pineapples grow in countries near the equator, you may find Latin American or island ingredients in many pineapple recipes. Most of the time, I prefer to stick with recipes that are fairly familiar, and adapt new elements gradually. So, since I’m not ready to conquer something like lobster and pineapple salad with basil and mint, grilled pineapple I think I can do (I knew I couldn’t get away from Rob Rainford .. I miss the previous Food Network programming!)
Oh, and to avoid the sores in your mouth after eating fresh pineapple? Soak the cut fruit in salt water for a few minutes, rinse it all off, pat the pieces dry, and you might just change your mind about pineapple ..