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The French word for pineapple comes from the genus of the South American Bromeliaceae family. It was derived from the word nanas (‘excellent fruit’ in Tupi), that was first recorded by André Thevet, a French Franciscan priest in 1555. Hence Ananas comosus, the full scientific name of the pineapple.

Other Europeans thought it looked like a pinecone, hence the name in English.

Two kinds are readily available in France: the large ones, very juicy ananas Cayenne and the smaller ananas Victoria, which have a more perfumed flavour.

A pineapple upside-down cake is a gâteau renversé à l'ananas.

Fruit and nuts

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Victoria Rachitzky Hoch