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The Queen Victoria Pineapple is smaller than African and South American pineapples, but has a deliciously fragrant taste. It is harvest ripe on the French island territory of Réunion in the Indian Ocean from December to January, and then sent by plane to mainland France. In that ways, it doesn’t lose any of its flavors during the voyage.

Pineapples are the fruit of an herbaceous plant of around 20 inches in height that originated in South America. The French word for pineapple “ananas” is derived from the word “nana” which means fragrant in the language of the Guarani tribe. Cultivated by natives, it was introduced in France after the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. French King Louis XIV tried, without much success, to grow them in the greenhouses of the castle Choisy-le-Roi. The Queen Victoria variety is considered by many to be the best type in the world, with its particularly fruity and sweet taste. It was introduced to Réunion in 1668 and has a beautiful yellow color. A small fruit, the Victoria does not usually exceed about 4 or 5 inches in length and 3 inches or so in diameter.

Xavier Remongin / agriculture.gouv.fr

Fresh pineapples are rich in vitamins and fiber, and contain an enzyme which helps to accelerate digesting meat. This compound is used in pharmacology to treat digestive and pancreatic problems.

The Victoria pineapple produced in Réunion benefits from a Red Label since 2006. Its flavors risk to diminish if left in the refrigerator too long, so it’s best to keep it at least two days at room temperature.

The Victoria pineapple shows its best side when eaten plainly, but it can also be found in numerous cakes, desserts, and ice creams. Certain Asian gastronomic traditions also use a cooked version to accompany meat dishes.

More information on the Red Label: The Red Label is an official French sign of quality that guarantees a superior quality than other products of the same category.