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Pineapples flood Cuddalore markets

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EXOTIC FRUIT: Pineapples flooding the market in Cuddalore.
EXOTIC FRUIT: Pineapples flooding the market in Cuddalore.

A.V. Ragunathan

Fruits from the Kolli Hills and Kerala have distinguishing characteristics

The fruit contains manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 and has high nutritional value

CUDDALORE: Pineapples are flooding the Cuddalore market, gladdening fruit-lovers. The scent and the slightly sweet-sour mix of the fruit make it a delectable table variety.

The thorny exterior provides an indication of the degree of ripeness. As the ripening process sets in the colour undergoes noticeable changes, from green to reddish yellow or to yellowish red.

The fruit, with the botanical name Ananas comosus, ‘annachi pazham’ in Tamil, is available almost round the year, though supply peaks in June, July and August.

It can be consumed straight after removing the exterior, or used as a dessert or in salads. Pineapple jam is popular.

Ready market

The dealers find Cuddalore a ready market for pineapples from Kolli Hills and Kerala.

According to S. Panneerselvam, a dealer in seasonal fruits, the fruits harvested from Kolli Hills and Kerala have certain distinguishing characteristics.

The exterior of the pineapple from Kolli Hills is less thorny and has a smoother surface and it is bright red.

However, the shelf life of the fruit is hardly three to four days.

The ones from Kerala have a sharp thorny surface with a deep yellowish tint.

Longer shelf life

These have a longer shelf life, up to 20 days, and will taste better than their Kolli Hills counterparts.

Therefore, Mr. Pannerselvam says the dealer would have to take into account factors such as shelf-life and transportation charges before fixing the sale price.

Price doubled

Pineapples come in gunny bags, each bag containing 25 fruits.

Last year, a bag of pineapples was procured in the price range of Rs. 150 to Rs. 200 but now the price has more than doubled to Rs. 400 a bag.

The retail price ranges from Rs. 25 to Rs. 40 apiece, depending on the size.

As the fruit contains manganese, Vitamin C and Vitamin B1, it is nutritionally rich too.

With a dash of salt and pepper the taste of the fruit can be enhanced, Mr. Panneerselvam says.

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