The Columbian Exchange

Old World Pineapple Recipes

Placek z Ananas y Kruszonka (Polish Pineapple Crumb Cake)

  • Crumb Topping:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
  • Cake:
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) softened butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium fresh pineapple (about 2 pounds) or 20 ounces precut fresh pineapple
  1. To peel the whole pineapple, cut off the crown and the bottom. Stand the pineapple upright and, using a sharp chef's knife, , and a sawing motion, remove the tough outer skin, all the way around. Slice the pineapple in half vertically and remove the core from both halves. Cut the halves into 1/2-inch thick half-rings. Cover with plastic and reserve.
  2. Place rack in center of oven and heat to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.
  3. Prepare the crumb topping by mixing together flours and 1/3 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar in a large bowl. Cut in butter as you would for pie dough until large crumbs form. Transfer crumbs to another bowl and reserve.
  4. In same large bowl, make the cake batter by creaming the butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the egg and yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and beat on medium speed 30 seconds. Add the sour cream and mix until blended. Batter will look curdled and this is OK.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium for 1 minute or until thick and creamy.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the half-rings of pineapple overlapping in two rows on top. Place any remaining half-rings in the spaces. Sprinkle evenly with crumb topping. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick tests clean. Let cake cool in pan 30 minutes, then cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Pineapple and Potato Curry Recipe


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup pineapple, crushed or chunks
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • rice

Preparation:Combine garlic, water, ginger, curry powder, soy sauce and sesame oil in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Sautee onion and potatoes in olive oil for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onions are soft. Add garlic and spice mixture and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.

Add pineapple and coconut milk and simmer, uncovered for five more minutes. Serve over rice.

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

* 1/4 cup oil, divided
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 1 small yellow onion, diced
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
* 4 cups day-old, leftover rice (make sure there aren't any large clumps)
* 1 Tablespoon sweet chile sauce (like Mae Ploy)
* 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
* 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
* 2 Tablespoons gluten-free oyster sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
* 1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple (can substitute well drained canned pineapple)
* 3/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
* 3/4 cup roughly chopped toasted cashews

In a wok or large skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the egg, let it cook without stirring until almost set, and then scramble until just cooked through. Remove the egg from the wok or skillet and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to turn golden. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until the garlic begins to soften. Add the rice, sweet chile sauce, Sriracha, fish sauce, oyster sauce and white pepper. Stir well to thoroughly combine and then cook, stirring every minute or so, until the rice is heated through and some of the grains have got a nice golden char.

Add the pineapple, the cooked egg, and the cilantro and cook, stirring frequently, until the pineapple is heated through. Garnish with the chopped cashews and serve immediately.

Overall Influence of Pineapples

Columbus introduced pineapples to Europe. This new fruit had a big impact on Europe as it immediately became a favorite food of royalty. The commoners of Renaissance Europe to which Columbus returned had a diet that was almost entirely devoid of refined sugar and lacking fresh fruit. Pineapples, which satisfied both sweetness and freshness were extremely appealing to those who could afford it. Pineapples were cultivated in Europe started in the early 1700s; they were grown in hothouses (greenhouses) and pineapple pits, specially designed greenhouse-like structures for sheltering the tropical plants. Pineapples spread rapidly from Europe; the Portuguese carried them around the world with them, and pineapples made it to China by 1640.

Today, as in the past, this sweet tropical fruit with its unique flavor is popular in old-wold dishes.

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