Sunday, April 15, 2007

So Much To Learn

Did you know there are more than 1800 varieties of pineapples?

That as just one of the things I learned today at Pineapple Park near the city of Nago on Okinawa. It’s not as big as Disney, but boy are they able to pack in a lot of fun in just a little space.

The experience starts in a pineapple-shaped golf cart, and that’s where you feel the true magic of it all.

The cart drives itself!

It may be the power of pineapples that propels it, but somehow, the cart knows where to turn, when to stop and just the right speed at which to travel.

This part of the visit lasts about 10 minutes. Then, before you now it, you’re in the pineapple wine tasting room. Sweet, dry, and dessert are the three main types, and you’re allowed as much as you want, in thimble sized portions.

Honestly, it’s not all that bad. I wouldn’t pull out a bottle for a dinner party, but considering it’s from pineapples, it’s quite drinkable.

Then there’s the foodmart, but it’s not just straight-off-the-plant pineapples, there’s pineapple cake, pineapple jewelry, pineapple soap (I swear), and this horrific pineapple gel stuff.

And they also had sugar cane.

Oh… I also learned that pineapple has enzymes that help digest meat.

Which is good, because last night’s Japanese barbeque had a little extra something with it. We either ate nuggets of chicken cartilage or pig knuckles. We couldn’t tell and there was a major language gap. Whatever it was, it tasted ok, but calling it chewy would be an understatement. In fact, I could still be gnawing on it tonight if I wanted.

A little extra pineapple in my stomach will be a big help.

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