Once oranges were king in the Azores – helping ward off scurvy, and making a wonderful holiday gift. In fact, in the 19th century, winter oranges were so popular in London, they were called St. Michaels. But time changed, and the need for a substitute to the orange led to a boom in growing pineapples in the Azores. While there was no tropical sun, the new crop needed a warm soil rich in organic matter – and that led to pineapple greenhouses – which are unique to the Azores.
Today São Miguel by most estimated has about 6,000 greenhouses. It takes 2 years to raise the pineapple from flower to fruit, and lots of smoke to fertilize the plant as it grows. And, the Ananaz – or Azorean pineapple is unique with its small crown and intense flavor.
And, not only are there pineapple cakes, sugared pineapple, pineapple liqueur, but pineapple jams and pineapple garnish on roasted meats. Want to see for yourself, just visit the open-to-the-public A. Arruda Pineapple Plantation on Sao Miguel – just a few minutes from downtown Ponta Delgada. Rue Drº Augusto Arruda - Fajã Baixo – 351-296 384 438