When the Arawak migrated to the Caribbean from South America in the 17th century, they brought with them what would become the official fruit of Antigua, the Black Pineapple.
Said to be ‘the world’s sweetest,’ the fruit belongs to the “Queen” group of pineapple, growing primarily on the southwest coast near Cades Bay. An Antigua Black looks like a Hawaiian Pineapple in shape, size, and texture, but the skin remains dark green even when it ripens to peak flavor, unlike its typically yellow counterparts. The flesh is distinctly golden and its core is edible.
Antigua’s unique environment is what gives the fruit, which is low in fiber and acidity, high in sugar, and crisp in texture, its distinctive flavor. The island’s rich soil and ideal rate of rainfall are supposedly what make the pineapple just sweet and moist enough.
A difficult fruit to find outside of Antigua, Norway has been eyed by the Antigua and Barbuda Development Bank as one potential market.
For centuries in Antigua, only small farms harvested pineapple. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that the Ministry of Agriculture created a government-owned agricultural station, Cades Bay Pineapple Station. An official production management plan followed in 1983, when Cades Bay was at its peak, with 20 acres of pineapple being grown.