Jill Layton
August 14, 2015 11:55 am

Pineapple is delicious. That’s no secret — but it’s also very useful. It’s used in so many different ways — as a snack, as a garnish, as a pizza topping, in salsa, as a fruit bowl and some people believe it has medicinal purposes. And let’s be real — a piña colada without the piña is just colada, and that’s way less tasty and fun. But the pineapple isn’t all fun and games.

You know that feeling after eating even just a few bites of pineapple, when your mouth feels all weird and hurty? Well, your mouth isn’t abnormal, and you’re definitely not alone. According IFLScience, there’s a reason our tongues feel that rough, uncomfortable scratchiness after eating pineapple.

“It turns out that pineapple contains bromelain, a mixture of enzymes that digest proteins,” IFLScience reported. “Despite bromelain being an approved anti-inflammatory treatment and having other health benefits, when it comes into contact with the sensitive skin in and around one’s mouth, it’s actually breaking down proteins, causing the tissue to become sore and inflamed.”

Here’s some interesting background on the pineapple: in 1493, after a trip to the Caribbean island of Guadalupe, Columbus brought the fruit back with him to Europe and attempted to grow it, but since pineapple needs a tropical environment to flourish, it didn’t work. Still, the Europeans who were introduced to it went crazy over it, and because of its beauty and rarity, artists incorporated pineapples into their work (which is why there’s a lot of art from that time period featuring pineapples).

According to FoodBeast, because the fruit was so rare at the time, it was considered to be a status item and was sold for what would be today’s equivalent of $8,000. It was so desirable and rare, that people would rent pineapples to bring to parties (and not even eat them), just to show off.

So, now that we’re all up to speed on pineapples — their history and the reason behind the tongue weirdness, we can appreciate how fortunate we are to have such a gem of a fruit so readily available to us. Not that knowing this information will stop us from eating pineapple or anything, but it’s good to know that our mouths aren’t malfunctioning. So, next time you’re eating pineapple, and you feel that feeling, just know that it’s for a good cause (happiness in your mouth).

(Featured images via Shutterstock)


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