Australian scientists have taken a step towards creating the world’s first piña colada tree, successfully breeding a coconut flavoured pineapple.
A group of Queensland researchers have spent the best part of a decade attempting to create a new variety of pineapple, telling ABC that it is now in the final stages of production with its AusFestival fruit.
“Taste tests tell us that AusFestival is a winner – it has this lovely coconut flavour, which you won’t find in any other pineapple in Australia,” senior horticulturist at the Australian Department of Agriculture Garth Senewski told the newspaper.
Senewski said that his team of researchers had not been intentionally looking to form the basis of the famous rum based piña colada, but had merely been looking to develop a variety that is “sweet, low acid and aromatic”. Senewski has previously created pineapples with ulta-high levels of vitamin C using cross breeding techniques.
It is now expected that the AusFestival plant will be commercially available within two years, at which point we expect sales of Maraschino cherries and miniature umbrellas will skyrocket.
The AusFestival plant is not the first reported ‘experimental fruit’ that has combined the flavours of two separate fruits through genetic modification. Israeli scientists have also given the world a lemon / tomato hybrid with the “lemato”, while the “tangelo” has benefited busy mixologists by combining the properties of tangerines and grapefruits.
Hopefully the endeavours of the Australian scientists are only the start, because we’re crossing our fingers for the day when we can have a Tequila Sunrise patch at the bottom of the garden.