The nickname “Big Pineapple” for Sao Paulo made perfect sense. In Brasil they have an expression for when people (one or more) have a tough problem to solve: “descascar abacaxi”, which translates to “peel the pineapple”. This always refers to something that is unpleasant and painstaking, with the possibility of making a sticky mess.
Interestingly, the Portuguese word abacaxi also translates to; “pain”. Maybe that’s the root of the expression “descascar abacaxi”, not sure, but I always liked it, for the visual of peeling pineapples, as they are the most prickly abrasive fruit, with by far the most abundant and sweetest juice, of any plant known to man.
Now the visuals I can give you, to substantiate “why” the nickname “Big Pineapple”. Think about the sharp outer skin of the pineapple, also the barbs on the leaves. Now imagine razor-wire and you begin to see just one of the odd parallels of a pineapple and a giant city that has a very prickly outer layer.
Yes it’s sad to say, razor wire is a common sight in Sao Paulo and just like a pineapple, you’d have no idea how nice it was on the other side of that skin, unless you’d tasted it before, or someone told you how sweet it is. The surface seems to be designed to detract the would-be taster, from even getting started. It just looks too damn nasty from the outside.
There must be a method, you might ask. And if it were a normal problem to solve, Google would provide the answer, so on the search term “descascar abacaxi” (translates to “peel a pineapple”) you’d find 295,000 results but if you search how to get “inside” Sao Paulo, you’d be lucky to find a dozen sources in English, most of them blogs and all of them out of date. That’s where the “Big Pineapple Chronicles” comes-in, to assist the curious seeker, on how to “descascar abacaxi”.
Directly from the Big Pineapple, we share stories and cool videos to enlighten the topic. My objective is to get inside Sao Paulo and extract the juiciest content, mix it together with tales of the people we meet along the way, and serve it up fresh daily.
Definition of pineapple
A large juicy tropical fruit consisting of aromatic edible yellow flesh surrounded by a tough segmented skin and topped with a tuft of stiff leaves. It is low-growing, with a spiral of spiny sword-shaped leaves on a thick stem.