In 1975, I took my first trip to Hawaii. I was ten years old and wearing a baby blue pant suit when the 747 airliner touchdown in Honolulu. In those days, everyone dressed up when you were flying on an airliner.
Before we arrived at our hotel, we took a tour of island of Oahu. And, our tour included the Dole Plantation. The plantation tour included rows and rows of pineapples.
As a kid, I was fascinated by pineapples. I’d eat them out of the can, fresh and even as pineapple sorbet.
The pineapple topping was also the first section of the banana split I would devour. At a very young age, I was developing an amorous relationship with this gorgeous hard-on-the-outside sweet fruit.
Today’s Dole Plantation is absolutely stunning. Approximately 40 minutes from Waikiki, you will find a magical Hawaiian wonderland filled with beautiful hibiscus flowers and unusual trees, as well as plants native to Hawaii.
Ironically, the pineapple is not native to Hawaii. According to the Dole Plantation, “No one knows when the first pineapple (“halakahiki,” or foreign fruit, in Hawaiian) arrived in Hawai‘i. Francisco de Paula Marin, a Spanish adventurer who became a trusted advisor to King Kamehameha the Great, successfully raised pineapples in the early 1800s. A sailor, Captain John Kidwell, is credited with founding Hawaii’s pineapple industry, importing and testing a number of varieties in the 1800s for commercial crop potential. But it wasn’t until James Drummond Dole arrived in the islands that the pineapple was transformed from an American symbol of friendship and exotic locales into an American household staple.”
One kama'aina (ka-ma-eye-nah), a local Hawaiian, revealed that her favorite type of pineapple is the “Maui Gold” because it has less acid than other pineapples. Many people avoid pineapples because of the acidic value. However, this local woman stated, “if you want to remove acid from a pineapple, you dip it in salt water and rinse it off with cold water.”
This sounds like a great trick. But, I am a purist and I like my pineapple untouched.
However, there is the exception of the chocolate-covered pineapple slice.