Pineapple

Like the chillies that are now a fundamental part of Thai cuisine, pineapples originated in the New World and were bought to Asia by the Europeans. The fruit is now a part of the everyday landscape of Thailand. No fruit cart can ply the streets without having its bins stocked with pineapple.

The variety favored by Thais is sweet and juicy, although several other types are available. Occasionally you'll see tiny pineapples not much bigger than a tennis ball for sale in the markets. Most of Thailand's pineapple crop, which accounts for about 18% of the world's production, is grown in the provinces just south of Bangkok. However, many northern provinces have their own varieties which can be quite sweet and highly prized at the fresh market, although none of them are used for canning.

Pineapples
A large pile of pineapples on sale in a Chiang Mai wholesale market.

If you visit the wholesale Muang Mai market in Chiang Mai, you will find many stalls piled high with pineapples, especially along Wichayanon Road, which fronts the river. Stacked in large plastic crates under canvas-roofed marquees, huge pyramids of pineapples are offered for sale in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. One popular type is aptly called "honey" in Thai. It has a large elongated head, with a skin that retains a greenish tint even when fully ripe. Another variety has a more rounded head and yellowish skin when ripe.

Regardless of the type, vendors will sell a whole pineapple for only about 25 U.S. cents. From fruit carts, where the vendor will cut up the fruit into bite sized pieces, customers usually purchase half a head for about the same price.

Weight Information
1 cup, chunks 165.0 g
1 fruit 905.0 g
1 slice (4-2/3" dia x 3/4" thick) 166.0 g
1 slice (3-1/2" dia x 3/4" thick) 84.0 g
1 slice, thin (3-1/2" dia x 1/2" thick) 56.0 g
Nutritional Information for 1 cup, chunks
Energy 82.5
Protein 0.891 20.000 4%
Total lipid (fat) 0.198 65.000 0%
Carbohydrate, by difference 21.648 300.000 7%
Fiber, total dietary 2.31 25.000 9%
Calcium, Ca 21.45 1000.000 2%
Iron, Fe 0.4785 18.000 3%
Magnesium, Mg 19.8 400.000 5%
Phosphorus, P 13.2 1000.000 1%
Potassium, K 179.85 3500.000 5%
Sodium, Na 1.65 2400.000 0%
Zinc, Zn 0.198 15.000 1%
Copper, Cu 0.1815 2.000 9%
Manganese, Mn 1.52955 2.000 76%
Selenium, Se 0.165 70.000 0%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 78.87 60.000 131%
Thiamin 0.13035 1.500 9%
Riboflavin 0.0528 1.700 3%
Niacin 0.825 20.000 4%
Pantothenic acid 0.35145 10.000 4%
Vitamin B-6 0.1848 2.000 9%
Folate, total 29.7 400.000 7%
Folate, food 29.7 400.000 7%
Carotene, beta 57.75
Vitamin A, IU 95.7 5000.000 2%
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.033
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 1.155 80.000 1%
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.01485 20.000 0%
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.02145
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.066