A pineapple grown in Britain in horse manure has been hailed the world’s most expensive piece of fruit – worth a whopping £10,000.
The fruit was nurtured over two years using traditional – and very expensive – Victorian gardening techniques at the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall.
Horticulturalists created tropical conditions using small greenhouses heated using a chemical reaction between 30 tonnes of manure, urine, and piles of straw.
The gardens have been growing pineapples the same way since the 19th Century – when they used to rent them out to wealthy Victorian families as a dinner table decoration.
Eight of the rare pineapples are now developing and botanists say they cost around £1,200 each to grow.
But one of the pineapples is now ready to harvest – and experts say it is worth around £10,000.
It is worth so much because of its rarity, production values and the unique location – pineapples are usually grown in much hotter climes.
Despite the high value the freshly harvested pineapple won’t be sold – but cut and up and fed to garden staff.
Spokesman James Stephens said the pineapples were “deliciously sweet, not stringy, and with an explosive flavour”.
He said: “In an ideal world we’d use about 90 tonnes of manure over the course of year which isn’t cheap to source and transport.
“We’ve struggled to get good manure this year so we’ve had to use electric heaters.
”It is just staff who get to taste the fruits as a thank you for their hard work. It can take up to two years to grow each pineapple so it’s only fair.
“If it was sold in a charity auction or the open market it could fetch up to £10,000 because of how unusual it is.
“Where else can you get a pineapple grown in Cornwall and in these conditions?”
The pineapples are grown in a 4ft-deep trench in a 40ft-long ”pineapple pit” section of the botanical gardens.
They are developed under 30 tonnes of manure – and are regularly soaked in horse urine.
The original gardens were at their peak during the 19th century. After decades of neglect and a devastating hurricane, they were restored in the 1990s.