EP word of the week (#34): ananás / abacaxi

Most Brazilians only have one common word for pineapple[o] abacaxi. Like the English term, this one is an oddity versus the names picked by a series of other languages, which borrowed the term Ananas from Portuguese [o] ananás (which in turn came from Tupi nanas). In Brazil, [o] ananás is used in some regions for pineapples of inferior quality, or for sweeter pineapples.

In Portugal, both of these terms are commonly used – in fact, if you go to the fruit section of a supermarket you may see both ananases and abacaxis being displayed, and a variety of different pineapple by-products contain each of them. Many people disagree on what the difference is: [o] abacaxi is a sweeter variety, while [o] ananás is slightly tarter and acidic; the first is usually imported from the tropics (especially from Brazil), while the second is homegrown (in greenhouses or in the Azores); the fact that is a niche tends to make ananases more expensive, but that’s not usually a given.


If you ever find yourself shopping for pineapples in Portugal, just take a look at the location where they were harvested from to make a polite guess on how they will taste! You can also use your Portuguese skills to ask the grocer about this difference – maybe he will have a better answer than I do (:

When in doubt, use [o] ananás; that’s our own word, so we should stick to it when making general statements (:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s