Pineapple tomato: varieties, cultivation & care
The unusually named ‘Pineapple’ tomato has become increasingly popular over the years. Here is a closer look at the ‘Pineapple’ tomato, with expert tips on caring for and harvesting this colourful fruit!
The ‘Pineapple’ tomato is an all-time favourite among heirloom tomato fans. Here is everything you need to know about this traditional, unique tomato.
‘Pineapple’ tomato: profile
|Fruit||Beef tomato; various colours|
|Flavour||Fruity, sweet, pineapple flavour|
|Growth||Indeterminate, up to 180cm in height|
Origin and history
The ‘Pineapple’ tomato is said to have originated in Kentucky, before it was introduced to Europe in the 1950s. Since then, it has become a favourite across the globe. What is more, the ‘Pineapple’ tomato plant is an heirloom, open-pollinated variety, which means you can harvest its seeds each year and sow them anew each season.
‘Pineapple’ tomato: taste and characteristics
‘Pineapple’ tomatoes are beefsteak: the largest kind. They are wide and round, with outer ribbing that somewhat resembles a real pineapple. The fruit tends to ripen from early August, when it becomes very soft. This is the best time to enjoy the fruit.
If you can’t wait until August, don’t worry. Unripe ‘Pineapple’ tomatoes are still tasty, and, in fact, they keep longer.
‘Pineapple’ tomatoes are incredibly heavy, in some cases weighing in at over a kilogram! They tend to be very fruity, with a mildly sweet, citrussy twist. The dark and green varieties are also refreshingly acidic. Even better, ‘Pineapple’ tomatoes contain very few seeds.
‘Pineapple’ tomato varieties
The ‘Pineapple’ tomato comes in a variety of colours: yellow-orange, dark shades of blue and black, and even green. Here are some of the most popular varieties:
Black and blue ‘Pineapple’ tomatoes
There are two black and blue ‘Pineapple’ tomato varieties: ‘Ananas Noire’ and ‘Ananas Bleue’. As it ripens, the ‘Ananas Noire’ tomato turns dark red to pink-brown, though its top remains olive-green. If cut crosswise, ‘Ananas Noire’ displays a spectacular array of colours, with shades of pink, yellow, orange, brown, and green.
‘Ananas Bleue’, a rare blue tomato variety, also displays a wide range of colours. When ripe, it is a deep yellow orange, which, with enough sunlight, melds to violet at the top. Also known as the ‘Blue Pineapple’, ‘Ananas Bleue’ is a particularly decorative tomato plant, with blue-purple leaves and stems.
Yellow and green varieties
The most popular yellow ‘Pineapple’ tomato variety is the ‘Hawaiian Pineapple’. It tastes most like pineapple (in comparison to all the other varieties!), and, when ripe, becomes a kaleidoscopic yellow, orange and light red.
The ‘Green Pineapple’ tomato, meanwhile, remains green while ripe, as its flesh becomes highly aromatic, tender, and soft.
Growing ‘Pineapple’ tomatoes
‘Pineapple’ tomatoes need heat. In fact, without sufficient warmth and protection, they will not produce a high yield. As such, ‘Pineapple’ tomato plants are best grown in a greenhouse, where they will reach 160 to 180cm tall and should be staked for support. It is also important that your ‘Pineapple’ tomato plant grows with only one shoot. Regularly remove all other shoots.
‘Pineapple’ tomatoes are not particularly suited to outdoor cultivation. They are not as robust and disease resistant as other tomato varieties, so if you do opt to grow ‘Pineapple’ tomatoes outdoors, try to find a sunny location with adequate protection from the rain, and grow them in a container.
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Harvesting and using ‘Pineapple’ tomatoes
Like most beefsteak tomatoes, ‘Pineapple’ tomatoes are great in salads or sandwiches. Their size also makes them ideal for aromatic sauces and soups.
Tip: Use ‘Pineapple’ tomatoes to cook a bright yellow, summery soup!
Interested in growing tomatoes at home? Here is an overview of the 60 best heirloom & new tomato varieties for you to grow in the garden!
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