One of the great raging debates of the Internet is whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza. Some people believe that it is delicious, while others think that it is blasphemy of the highest order. The correct answer, of course, is to eat whatever you love. But even if you believe that this particular fruit has no business on or around a pizza pie, it’s hard to argue that pineapple isn’t one of nature’s most delicious and versatile offerings.
Don’t believe me? Let’s head to Key Largo, where the pineapple is a rich part of the region’s history. Local legend Captain Ben Baker is forever remembered as the “King of the Florida Wreckers,” but he also holds the distinction of being one of the first people to bring this South American fruit to Florida. And thanks in part to his heralded efforts of personally delivering his crop as far as New York City, it is estimated that at one point the Florida Keys were responsible for at least 85 percent of the pineapples sold in the United States (although that math is probably fuzzy and generous).
So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that International Pineapple Day is a big deal to some people in the largest of Florida’s Keys, and if you scoff at celebrating this occasion on June 27, just know that you’re missing out on some serious fun at Playa Largo Resort and Spa. Here, the celebration will last all summer, as Executive Chef Gavin Pera is showcasing the fruit’s versatility and his own ingenuity with a curated menu of snacks, cocktails, and meals that will undoubtedly blow guests’ minds.
For the duration of this Summer Pineapple Series, all four of the resort’s on-site restaurants will offer this unique menu. If your evening begins with cocktails, kick it off with a Pineapple Jalapeño Shandy, which uses Sandbar Sunday Ale from the Islamorada Brewery & Distillery. Next, for an appetizer, try the Key Largo Pink Shrimp or Wahoo, which feature pineapplegastrique and pineapple ponzu. And for the main course, order the swordfish with a pineapple basil vinaigrette drizzled over sweet potato, pancetta, glacé onion, rosemary and rainbow chard.
That’s merely a sampling of Chef Pera’s creativity, and guests can expect each plate to feature only the best of fresh local ingredients. Choosing between items won’t be easy, but deciding to visit should be a piece of cake. Pineapple upside down cake, of course.