Abacaxi, Pineapple, Piña

By Rob Packer

The Brazilian pineapple, the abacaxi, is really just like any other apart from its shape. Rather than being the squat, roundish variety I’ve seen almost everywhere else, the abacaxilooks like it’s been stretched into a cone shape and its crown compacted.

Pineapple crown.

Abacaxi, like a stretched pineapple.

The pineapple goes a long way in Brazil and there are lots of ways of eating or drinking it, whether as a juice with mint or as pineapple tea, similar to Colombia’s guarapo, made by boiling the parts you don’t eat (the skin and maybe the core) and as far as I’ve seen, drunk hot—unlike guarapo.

Suco de acabaxi com hortelã. Pineapple juice with mint.

Maybe roasted the best way of eating pineapple though, like I’ve seen at churrascarias (Brazilian steakhouses). The roasting process (either wrapped in aluminium foil or roasted with its skin, which is then cut off) caramelizes the sugars and takes away the acidity.

The only thing that’s missing is the chopped, raw, ripe piña with chile and lime that I used to eat in Mexico.

Pineapple skin

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