Where do I find tart (i.e. acidic) pineapples?
About a year ago, my brother requested a sweet and sour shrimp dish which I had not made for him since I moved to Florida. I made it, using fresh pineapple, but the pineapple did not have the acidity to counteract the sweetness of the dish. The problem was not a lack of vinegar, but rather, that the chunky, high-note accents of acidity in the pineapple were missing.
I learned that I had used a "super sweet" pineapple hybrid, which has a sweetness level which I associate with canned pineapple in heavy syrup. Since that time, each time that I have had to use fresh pineapple in a dish, the only kind I can find in the markets (under many different brand names) are these super sweet varieties.
Can anyone answer for me either, or both, of these questions: (1) What are the names of the non-super sweet varieties? and (2) Where can I find them? (I am not necessarily asking for a specific location in Florida, but rather, generically, where would I find them? They don't seem to exist at local fruit stands or grocery stores anymore.)
gfr1111 ... I could have written this post! I don't think the pineapple that you and I remember from our childhood exists in the grocery store anymore. I would love to have someone prove me wrong. I don't even think picking a "super sweet" while unripe will make it taste tarter.
Pineapples that are allowed to ripen fully before picking will be sweeter than those picked before they are fully ripened. However, the trade-off is that those picked before being fully ripened are less tender (sometimes woody). As far as I know, there are only a few varieties of pineapple. All I can suggest is that you avoid anything with the word "sweet", "gold or golden" in the name.