Pineapple is eaten fresh, and
served sliced, chunked, or as juice. It is also a favorite when
processed into marmalades, jam, jellies, or candies. Pineapple
oil or essence is also used as flavoring for confectionery. Meat
dishes and curries become tastier with the fruit of the pineapple
added. Chutney is another for of preserving the fruit. Nata de
Piña is a gelatinous product of the fermented fruit pulp
which is eaten by itself as a sweet or mixed with fruit salad
or halo-halo - a delicious mixture of various sweets.
In addition to its nourishing
uses, the pineapple has long served medicinal purposes in folk
medicine: It was found to arouse appetite; the unripe fruit was
effective as diuretic and contraceptive, an in the expulsion
of intestinal worms. Some scientists found in its leaves possible
cure for venereal diseases.
The crown or leaves of the
plant also serve as raw material for wallpaper and furnishings.
The waste from canning can be further processed into animal feed.
But the most remarkable non-food
use of the pineapple, which is associated only in the Philippines,
is the fabric woven from the fibers extracted from its leaves.
The introduction of the pineapple plant with the coming of the
Spaniards did not take long before its potential as fiber was
tapped by the natives who had long been weaving various fibers
from other plants, including cotton and silk. The crude and difficult
process of weaving the Pineapple fibers produces a fine and elegant
fabric that is usually enhanced with embroidery, and can hold
its own beside other beautiful fabrics produced elsewhere in