I’ve always wondered as to why pineapples were so called. But I never bothered to find out…until now. Just as I was sitting down to post this recipe, I felt it was high time that I knew it. So the dear old wiki was referred to and this is what I came up with…
The word “pineapple”, first recorded in 1398, was originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cones). When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit, they called them “pineapples” (term first recorded in that sense in 1664) because it resembled what we know as pine cones. The term “pine cone” was first recorded in 1695 to replace the original meaning of “pineapple”.
In the binomial “ananas comosus”, ananas comes the original (Peruvian) Tupi word for pineapple nanas, as recorded by André Thevenet in 1555 and comosus means “tufted” and refers to the stem of the fruit.
…and I thought ‘ananas’ was a Hindi word. In Assamese, we call it ‘anaros’.
Pineapples have been used in a variety of ways from drinks to chutneys and flavourings…for me the pineapple slices baked into a loaf with the other ingredients as well as the raw kind cut into thick slices and eaten by hand with the juices running down the chin, as a child, hold the same kind of appeal.If one appeases the little person, the other holds its own sophisticated charm for it’s older counterpart.
I baked this loaf the other day. Actually, I bought a pineapple a couple of days ago…but it was lying there for want of someone to cut it. I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve never cut a pineapple in my life. Before I got married, I always had it without having to go through the hassle of peeling it…or maybe it’s not a hassle at all…maybe I feel too overwhelmed at the thought…surprising, how I manage to do things supposed to be more strenuous without so much as a grumble, and when it comes to peeling a humble pineapple , I’m all nerves. Normally I use the canned variety and if it come to the fresh ones, Dinesh helps, but for some reason , this pineapple has been languishing in the kitchen counter for quite some time…looking proud and mocking. Every now and then, Rengoni, who loves this fruit, inquires as to when she was going to have it.
Finally, I decided that enough was enough…after all wasn’t it just a meagre pineapple…so the proud pineapple was brought down from it’s pedestal and it finally made it’s way into our bowls with a couple of slices to spare, with which I baked this loaf. Seeing that the last time I made this loaf was quite a while ago, it did not do badly for itself and we enjoyed the slices immensely. So here goes…
1 and 1/2 C wholemeal flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C olive or sunflower oil
1 C of raisins
a few cashewnuts
3 tblsp of honey
4-5 tblsp of sugar
2 slices of fresh or canned pineapple
Heat the sugar in a pan, constantly stirring till it melts. Immediately pour into a greased baking tin and spread all over. Place the pineapple slices, pressing them gently into the sugar base. Arrange a few raisins and the cashews in the hollows of the pineapple slices and in the outer gaps. All this should be done very quickly as the sugar syrup sets very quickly.
Beat the eggs and sugar. Add the flour and baking powder and blend in. Add the honey and then the oil, mixing in between adding the ingredients.
Mix in the rest of the raisins. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 deg cel till a toothpick inserted through the centre comes out clean.
Let the loaf rest for a couple of minutes.Run a knife along the sides of the loaf. Place a dish over the tin and very carefully turn it upside down, keeping the tin and dish firmly pressed together. Gently remove the tin and replace any fruit sticking to it on the top of the loaf.
There…the pineapple -upside down loaf is now ready to be enjoyed warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!!!