It seems that the humble avocado may have been trumped in the popularity stakes, as a surprising new contender rises up the ranks to become the fastest-selling fruit in Britain.
Reports show that pineapple sales have increased 15% in a year, as shoppers use its sweet flavour to liven up curries, barbecues and cocktails, while the Hawaiian pizza also makes an unlikely comeback.
According to Tesco, pineapples have become the fruit taste of the moment and could soon rival the avocado as a one-niche fruit suddenly gaining main-stream popularity.
Some of the best and most innovative eateries are already embracing this trend with new additions on the menu to mirror the natin’s new-found love of pineapple.
Pineapple and Pancetta Pancakes for Brunch at Radici
Francesco Mazzei’s much-loved Islington trattoria, Radici, has recently launched a new bottomless weekend brunch, and alongside the knockout brunch pizza for two to share, Francesco and the newly-appointed head chef, Giuseppe Cafaro have made the most of the current popularity of pineapple. The Grilled pineapple and pancetta pancakes with, mascarpone, honey and orange are a fun take on prosciutto and melon and Canadian bacon pancakes all rolled into one, and have become an instant favourite in the restaurant.
A squeeze of pineapple juice works wonders for dough
Braiding bread, like Jewish challah, can be tricky. It’s easy to get a misshapen finished product by stretching one of the strands more than the others. Interestingly, the Modernist Bread team found that to add a drop or two of pineapple juice to your dough or any fruit with the enzyme that dissolves protein, like kiwi, pineapple or papaya and braiding your bread becomes a breeze.
Pineapples at Nouri
Former development chef from Heston Blumenthal’s experimental kitchen at The Fat Duck, Ivan Brehm, chef-patron of Nouri in Singapore, currently has on his new crossroads menu a pre-dessert of Pineapple, compressed in Ligurian olive oil and served frozen, seasoned with peppermint and Baniwa pepper from the Brazilian Amazon. It is a play on the mind’s ability to easily confuse things like hot and cold. Pineapple is also an element in the achar pickles of the Chicken Debal – a true crossroads dish of shared Indian, Malay and Portuguese traditions. Not only does the pineapple help to boost the acidity of the lactic fermented spiced pickles, it also confers this dish a much-needed sweetness.
Yeotown Kitchen, London’s first mindfulness cafe, serves up a range of smoothies and yeotinis packed with pineapple goodness, all named after character strengths.
Coconut | Pineapple at Masque
At wilderness-to-table restaurant Masque, opened in Mumbai in September 2016, ingredients take centre stage. Head chef Prateek Sadhu and co-owner Aditi Dugar have travelled the length and breadth of the country exploring a different rural India to bring to focus the lost ingredients of the Himalayan belt. Currently on the menu is Coconut | Pineapple, a savoury salsa of pineapple and coconut cream with cilantro oil and cayenne salt.
Pineapple carpaccio at the new Bluebird Cafe, White City
Bluebird Cafe, the sister restaurant of the iconic Chelsea original, officially opened its doors at the Television Centre this month. Executive chef Simon Gregory’s menu includes a Pineapple carpaccio with black coconut sorbet and lemon balm, £7.25.
The St Paul’s cocktail at Social 24, City Social
This month, Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred City Social renamed its bar to Social 24, with a new cocktail menu. While the connection to pineapples may not be an obvious one to some, the St Pauls cocktail is served inside a glass pineapple to represent Sir Christopher Wren’s integration of the fruit into his architecture, and specifically the golden pineapple that sits at the top of the Cathedral’s dome. This colourful cocktail is made with Absolute Elyx, pineapple, sage, chartreuse, communion wine and a wafer.
Pineapple and Coconut Smoothie from Batch Organics
100% organic, plant-powered, pineapple and coconut smoothie from Batch Organics are made using organic pineapple, banana, kale, coconut flakes, coconut oil, spirulina powder, lucuma and milk thistle powder.