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Presunto com Abacaxi

October 8, 2019 | Food

A perfect match

Two weeks ago we introduced you to our Piña Colada dessert on our latest blog post. This classic use of ingredients leads us this week to tell you more about another pineapple combination: our Presunto com Abacaxi or, in other words, Gammon with Pineapple.

We could say that gammon and pineapple are the perfect marriage; the smoked flavours of this meat are complemented by the sweetness of pineapple, making it a unique tasting experience. Here at Picanha, this cut is available on both our Lunch and Evening Menus. We highly recommend you to try it if you haven’t done yet, Chester!

Gammon and Pineapple as served here at Picanha

Gammon and Pineapple as served here at Picanha

But what is this thing with pineapple, you may wonder?

The journey this fruit has gone through over the centuries is fascinating. Pineapple is believed to have originated in the Amazon rainforest around 3000 years ago. However, it wasn’t until 1493 that Christopher Columbus discovered it in Guadaloupe. This finding marked the moment that changed the fate of this fruit forever as it was introduced to the rest of the world.

Its flavour, exotic looks and the rarity of their presence in Europe made pineapple a synonym of wealth and status. So much so that King Charles II of England commissioned a portrait of himself receiving a pineapple as a gift. Despite being imported by Colombus into the old continent, it was the Portuguese who spread it across the world, importing it to Africa and India. By the end of the 16th century, it was being grown in most of the tropical parts of the world.

The image of pineapple became so popular it was sculpted on front doors and used in many decorative ways in people’s homes. Over time, this tropical delicatessen became more accessible to common people leading to a change of perception. Nowadays the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality due to its association with warm welcomes.

Charles II Presented with a Pineapple

Charles II Presented with a Pineapple. Image credit: Royal Collection Trust

When pineapple meets meat…

It isn’t a secret that the tropical fruity notes of pineapple go with meat just perfectly. But… did you know the science behind it?

Apart from giving meats a lot of flavour, pineapple is a powerful agent when it comes to tenderising even the toughest cuts of meat. This is because of an enzyme called bromelain that breaks down protein. Actually, it is so potent that if you’re using it to marinate meat, you should only do it for a short period of time to avoid ending up with a mushy mess.

Gammon and Pineapple as served here at Picanha

Gammon and Pineapple as served here at Picanha

Pineapple really pairs well with any meat and even some fish. Whether you choose beef or chicken, it is a combination that won’t disappoint. But if there’s a partnership that really works, that’s pineapple and any type of pork. The first notes that come to mind when thinking of pineapple may be sweet, fruity and tropical, but a wide range of more complex aromas are present on this fruit too. Green, caramel, roasted, floral, cheese, and buttery are aromas that you will find in pineapple too, making this such a versatile product.

It is these roasted notes that makes these two elements pair so well. When you cook pineapple and protein together over a flame, the savoury notes take over the sweet ones as the natural fruit juices are released marinating the meat with a sweet yet tart flavour.

If you haven’t done yet, we highly recommend you to try our Gammon with Pineapple on your next visit, Chester. You won’t regret it! Let us know what you think of it in the comments below, or via our social media channels on Facebook and Instagram.