Pineapples are an iconic fruit that everyone will recognize right away for their distinctive shape, color, and flavor.
There’s more to this tropical treat than you might think. Pineapples come in different variety groups and one of them you should know about is the abacaxi pineapple.
Read on to learn all about this fascinating type of pineapple.
What is the Abacaxi Pineapple?
The name abacaxi pineapple refers to one of the groups of pineapple species native to Brazil and contains several varieties with shared characteristics. It’s common in Brazil for people to refer to pineapples in general as “abacaxi”, but the name does indicate a specific family of these fruits.
Types of abacaxi pineapples include the sugarloaf, Montufar, White Kauai, and Antigua Black. They’re tall and spiny with blue-green foliage. Depending on the specific variety, they can weigh anywhere from 2 to 22 pounds.
The flesh of abacaxi pineapples is pale yellow or whiteish in color, and nearly translucent.
They’re often considered to be the most delicious type of pineapple because they’re so sweet and juicy.
They are also very disease resistant, making them a very popular crop for farmers.
Differences from Common Pineapples
Abacaxi pineapples are unique in a few different ways.
They’re much sweeter with less bright and opaque flesh compared to more common pineapples. The skin is also much spikier in texture.
The biggest difference in abacaxi pineapples is that they’re much too delicate for shipping and storage. This means that they aren’t commercially distributed because they can’t stand up to the stress of transportation from the field to your local grocery store.
Where to Find Abacaxi Pineapples
Since these pineapples are so easily damaged in transit, you’ll only be able to find them available fresh fairly close to where they’re grown. They simply won’t end up in places that don’t have the right conditions for them.
If you live in one of the areas where they are popular to grow, you can probably find them locally. They are only grown as a true crop in tropical climates.
While you won’t be able to pick one up on your regular trip to the grocery store or even in specialty markets near you, you can purchase live started plants to grow one for yourself.
Amazon offers this Sugarloaf abacaxi pineapple plant. You can also order one from Fast Growing Trees. These are both high-quality plants that are already off to a great start. And since this variety is known for its disease resistance, that’s one less factor you’ll have to worry about.
You can also try your hand at a more common variety from Nature Hills.
Growing Abacaxi Pineapples
It’s very common to see abacaxi pineapples grown in Brazil, Florida, and the Bahamas because of their popularity.
Pineapples are a tropical fruit through and through, so they’ll do best when grown in warm and humid climates.
Growing pineapples requires patience, as it can take up to two years for the plant to bear fruit. It is possible to grow them indoors in pots as long as they’re in a warm place with a lot of sunlight as well.
Be sure to use soil with good drainage so the roots don’t rot from sitting in water. A mix that includes sand will help with this. Fertilize your abacaxi pineapple well on a monthly basis so it has the nutrients it needs.
If you can manage to get your hands on a ripe abacaxi pineapple, you can also try to propagate your own.
- Start by cutting off the very top of the fruit where the leaves connect, peeling some of the leaves off to expose the stem.
- Let it dry out for a few days, then place it in water in bright indirect light. Change the water out every other day and wait for 6 to 8 weeks.
- Eventually you’ll see little white roots sprouting out from the bottom. Once they reach an inch or two long, bury the pineapple in quality potting soil up to the leaves and place it in a warm spot that gets full sunlight.
- Water regularly and monitor growth. Less water is better, so keep it to once a week and mist the leaves. The soil should be able to dry out between waterings.
Harvesting Your Pineapple
You’ll know it’s ready when you see a fully-formed pineapple in the center of the plant. Now all you have to do is gently twist it off or cut it at the base with a sharp knife.
Once you remove the fruit, the plant will most likely die off afterward. Sometimes they produce “pups” that can grow into the main part of the plant and it will continue growing.
Delicious Ways to Eat Abacaxi Pineapples
Abacaxi pineapples in this group are known for being very sweet and less acidic than other pineapples.
They make excellent juice. Drink it fresh or use it as a mixer in cocktails, mocktails, and smoothies. You can’t go wrong with a classic piña colada!
Make popsicles from the juice as is and add some chunks of fresh abacaxi pineapples, or use it as a sweetener and add other fruits. Due to the creamy, translucent flesh, they might just be the most beautiful popsicles you’ve ever seen.
Of course, fresh pineapple is a great snack, and abacaxi pineapples are delicious all on their own or in a fruit salad.
Pineapple also pairs well with savory foods. It’s commonly used on a ham or, controversial as it may be, on a pizza.
Use abacaxi pineapple in your favorite pineapple upside-down cake recipe. Mix it into cake, cupcake, or muffin mixes for added flavor and sweetness, or in any other tropical-inspired baked goods.
You’ll Love Abacaxi Pineapples!
For anyone who loves discovering new tropical fruits, abacaxi pineapples are an absolute must with their unique look and unbelievable flavor.
If you can find them, these pineapples just might become one of your favorite fruits.
Head over to our Pineapple Page to discover even more about these fun and delicious fruits!