Origin of the Pineapple
Pineapple is thought to have come from somewhere in the area of Paraguay, South America. Over the centuries, the Indians of South America selected suckers from mutations of large, seedless fruit for further propagation. Eventually 5 distinct groups of seedless pineapple arose (see Pineapple and the Plant Kingdom).
Virtually all commercial production world-wide consists of “Smooth Cayenne” selections (i.e. the ‘Dole’ pineapple). Our Antigua Black variety belongs to the “Queen” group and is renowned for it’s golden yellow flesh, crisp texture, low fibre, low acid, high sugar content, and delicious taste.
Queen pineapples produce small (2 lb), conical fruit. The plants introduced to Antigua by the migrating Arawak Indians perhaps 1,000 years ago, have now naturalized and produced a distinct variety, the Antigua Black pineapple.
Claremont Farms is extraordinary in trying to grow this variety of fruit commercially. The Antigua Black yields only one sixth of the commercial ‘Dole’ varieties. Also, this cultivar has not undergone the rigorous clonal multiplication like other commercial varieties (see Quality) and remains somewhat wild (heterozygous).