If you like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain and the development of new varieties of fruit via hybridization, you're going to love the AusFestival pineapple, which was bred by researchers in Australia's Department of Agriculture and tastes like coconut.
The researchers, led by senior horticulturalist Garth Senewski, have been working on the variety for a decade, in cooperation with a commercial backer. They hope to start planting the pineapples for commercial sale, and for blending into pina coladas, within the next two years.
Despite the pineapple's obvious appeal, the researchers didn't originally set out to develop one that was coconut flavored; they were just looking for something that was sweet and low in acid. It just so happened that their work led to something that was perfect for Jimmy Buffet's second-favorite cocktail.
Well, almost perfect. If we're playing God anyway, we have to admit that we'd have preferred that the researchers whipped up a pineapple-flavored coconut -- that's way more exciting. On the other hand, such a coconut wouldn't give us a chance to marvel, for the umpteenth time, at the fact that pineapples grow on the ground rather than in trees!
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