The pineapple is a fruit native to the Asian tropics, with a delicate and fresh fragrance that’s simply irresistible! The top of the fruit resembles a royal crown or as some would say the feathers of the mythical Phoenix bird and the flesh is golden like the skin of the Asian pear. In Taiwanese the pronunciation of the word pineapple sounds like a propitious blessing of good fortune and future prosperity. It is a popular custom to decorate one’s home or office with symbols resembling the lucky and auspicious pineapple to ensure that all of one’s efforts will be blessed and all of one’s goals will come to fruition. The pineapple has been referred to in traditional culture as the best gift for a house warming party and upon the opening of a new business or to wish one’s favorite political candidate success at the election boxes.
The pineapple was introduced to Taiwan long ago and during the 19th century had become a common fruit throughout the island. After the end of Japanese domination in Taiwan, the government engaged in aggressive promotion of pineapple cultivation and within a decade the region around Chiayi County had become a key producer of a hardy melting pot variety of cross-bred pineapples. Since the pineapple enjoys high temperatures and has excellent drought resistant properties and locations where the temperature differentiates throughout the year and during the day are most ideal for pineapple propagation. Spring are ideally conducive to the natural climactic demands of the pineapple for the environment and weather. A wide variety of pineapples have been developed including the atemoya ice-cream-tree pineapple, winter honey pineapple, ice cream pineapple, fragrant apple pineapple, perfume pineapple and etc.
Domestic production of pineapple is abundant in Taiwan and is a plentiful fruit at the local markets but the pineapple is also appreciated for its value-added advantages such as canned pineapple, pineapple juice, pineapple marmalade and jams and etc. This deliciously sweet and wonderful fruit is not only appreciated in the domestic market but highly exported as dried pineapple and traditional Taiwanese pineapple tarts which are similar to the western pineapple Newton bars. The post-production remaining pineapple can be used for making pineapple wine and vinegar.
Pineapples do not have the advantage of long-term storage, so for export purposes it is usually harvested early to prevent deterioration in quality during shipment. Taiwan pineapples are exported mainly to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada.