From Abbott Blackstone
Pineapple was indigenous to South America, probably coming out of Paraguay and southern Brazil. It spread to the Caribbean , then on to Central America and Mexico where it was cultivated by the Mayans and the Aztecs. When Columbus came across pineapples in 1493, he called the plant pina de Indes, ‘pine of the Indians’. Columbus took pineapples back to Spain, making pineapple the first bromeliad to be brought into Europe. Over the next 200 years, wealthy Europeans used the pineapple as a means to display their wealth by constructing elaborate hothouses in which to grow them. One of the more spectacular examples was a ‘pinery’ built by John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, which was a huge stone cupola 46 feet tall in the shape of a pineapple.The pineapple finally arrived in Hawaii in about 1899, and industrial farming by US companies was well underway in the early 1900’s. Costa Rica is now a leading producer, followed by Brazil and the Philippines. Dehydrated pineapple is a good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium Vitamin C. Additionally, pineapple provides the enzyme bromelain, a very useful digestive enzyme.