Piña chocoana is a distinctive variety of pineapple grown in the department of Chocó. It is oval in shape, small to medium-sized and has a thinner skin than other varieties of pineapple. The flesh is light in color. The texture is very soft and it has a sweet flavor.
Piña chocoana cultivation requires special techniques and specific soil conditions. For example, it requires quite dry soil, so it grows better at altitude. It is grown all year round, though there are months in which production is low as it is negatively affected by weather conditions: in times of heavy rain and humidity, the harvest is lower.
It is generally consumed fresh, in the form of juice, traditional desserts, jam, ice cream and cakes. Before it is fully ripe, when it is still green and the flesh is very compact, piña chocoana is used as a remedy for digestion problems. The skin is also used to prepare rice smoothies and home-made vinegar.
According to folk tradition, piña chocoana was brought to the region by indigenous Chocó communities, who had lived in the Lloró area, in the central part of the region. For that reason, the pineapple is also known as lloroseña (of the Lloró). Today, it is grown in most parts of the department and is highly prized culturally and in culinary terms by the whole population. It can be found throughout Quibdó, particularly in areas above the Munguidó river. The quantities grown are not known exactly, but harvests are certainly the largest in June, July, September and October. It can be found in markets in towns and the countryside, and is also used for family consumption.
Piña chocoana is potentially facing extinction, because younger generations are reluctant to eat local fruit and vegetables that have been a vital food for local consumption. An increasingly global outlook means that nowadays increasingly more value is attached to industrially manufactured products that are advertised in the media, which has a great effect on the mindset of younger generations and thus led many local and traditional products to be associated with a lack of sophistication and poverty.