Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pineapple happiness, part II

I did it. I found the best dried pineapple in the city.

This was no small feat. It involved visits to many markets and specialty shops. It's been two years of sampling in earnest. I have spiraled into sugary orbits and toughened my jaws on stale specimens. I have consumed hundreds of calories while fooling myself that there is nutritional value in this pursuit — it's fruit after all.

Alas, I know there's no Vitamin C in dried pineapple and that it's not exactly a lo-cal snack. But who cares? When you find the perfect ring of dried pineapple, all is well in the world.

The reveal may seem like a no-brainer to some (nope, not Russ & Daughters). But it was a delicious revelation for me: Manhattan Fruit Exchange. Over there, in the Chelsea Market where I've walked many times before. But this past weekend I was finally lured in by the stacks of colorful candies, nuts and dried fruits in those enticing little plastic tubs.

This dried pineapple is pitch-perfect in color (bright, happy yellow — not dull with too much sugar). The rings are small rather than oversized. The meat: chewy and gummy. And the flavor is sweet and delicious. It tastes fresh and ripe and will be my one-and-only source from now on. Unless I find it better somewhere else.

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