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What Is a Baby Pineapple?

A. Leverkuhn
A. Leverkuhn

The baby pineapple is a smaller variety of this popular fruit, which is a topical fruit with a sweet, yellow flesh. The name, however, is a misnomer, since this is not a fruit that is simply harvested early, before it grows to full size; A baby pineapple may be any of several cultivars of the fruit that does not grow as large as some others. This somewhat exotic fruit gives shoppers the option of purchasing a smaller whole fruit with more edible pieces, that may be easier to cut up and use. These fruits are relatively new in markets in some areas of the world where they are sold.

Many vendors describe the baby pineapple as being about the size of a baseball. These fruits are several inches, or a few centimeters, in diameter. They are often grown in specific regions like South Africa where climate conditions are right for production.

Baby pineapple is a smaller version of a regular pineapple.
Baby pineapple is a smaller version of a regular pineapple.

One of the properties of this fruit that generates consumer appeal is the inclusion of vitamins called bromelains and other health elements that are in the pineapple. The baby pineapple has these as well. In addition, vendors that sell this kind of fruit promote the fact that the baby or small pineapple has an edible core, unlike the larger traditional varieties, where shoppers often cut out the core and throw it away.

Baby pineapples grow in South Africa.
Baby pineapples grow in South Africa.

Other selling points for this fruit include the idea of buying a smaller portion of pineapple when buying the whole fruit. This helps shoppers not to waste this food, which can be expensive in many world markets. Users can also cut the baby pineapple more easily than the larger varieties.

The use of baby pineapples in the produce departments of supermarkets and other stores addresses a growing “whole foods” movement that is changing how many customers approach food shopping. As stores recognize that their shopping audiences are increasingly selecting fresh unprocessed fruits, they may expand their options. One example of this is offering a baby pineapple in addition to the larger variety that is often in stores, which is often sold pre-cut in packages.

Supermarkets are not the only businesses considering the sale or use of the baby pineapple product. These fruits can also be used in catering or in restaurants. Some cooks will halve the small fruit and stuff it with various other foods for a gourmet presentation, for example, filling the half-pineapple with melon balls, strawberries or other fruit, or using sliced vegetables or cheese spreads as fillings. The growing interest in whole foods also encourages this type of preparation in today’s upscale catered venues and gourmet cafeterias.

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    • Baby pineapple is a smaller version of a regular pineapple.
      By: Brent Hofacker
      Baby pineapple is a smaller version of a regular pineapple.
    • Baby pineapples grow in South Africa.
      By: max_776
      Baby pineapples grow in South Africa.