The pineapple is not just one large fruit, but a gathering of many little fruits around a central core. The scales seen on the pineapple are actually berries. The pineapple is also a member of the bromeliad family and is one of the very few that brings forth edible fruit.
Unripe pineapples should never be eaten because they are toxic. But when a pineapple is ripe, it is a great source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. Pineapple also contains an enzyme called bromelain, which supports digestion and eases inflammation. It's also an effective meat tenderizer. Bromelain and other substances found in the pineapple have anti-tumor properties.
Pineapples are native to South America. Though they are still grown there as well as in China, Thailand, Mexico and the Philippines, Hawaii is the only U.S. state to grow them. Since the pineapple has been cultivated for thousands of years, no one really knows its origins.
Pineapple canneries let nothing of the pineapple go to waste, and aside from bearing fruit, the pineapple is used to make vinegar, animal feed and even alcohol. Pineapple wine is popular in Maui.
The pineapple plant is a perennial herb. As a tropical fruit, it is only behind bananas and citrus fruits in popularity. Furthermore, after a pineapple is picked, it does not get any riper; instead, it simply rots, so it should be eaten fairly quickly after purchase.