In summer, when berries are abundant, what's the point of pineapple? Why bother wrestling with that spiky intruder when there are home-grown seasonal fruits to eat? But at this time of year, as a complement to autumn's still firm British apple and pear crop, and leafy Spanish and Moroccan citrus, sweet-sharp, heady pineapple really finds a purpose.
We now know that the pay and conditions of workers in tropical places who labour in pineapple fields are often notoriously bad – a powerful argument for buying only Fairtrade pineapples. With this guarantee, you know that the people who grew your fruit earned a living wage and received a little extra premium to use for community projects.
Let your nose be your guide to selecting a pineapple that will eat well. It should smell fragrant, but not of boiled sweets (too ripe) or dank drains (too long in storage).
Why is pineapple good for me? Pineapple contains a compound called bromelain. The protein-digesting enzymes in it are thought to aid digestion. While not all studies agree on its effectiveness, bromelain is used worldwide as an anti-inflammatory, an anti-coagulant, and is thought to have anti-cancer properties.