In today’s kitchen tips series, I’m going to teach you how to choose the perfect pineapple and how to cut the pineapple.
There’s nothing better than a fresh pineapple! I don’t care what you tell me…nothing in a can or jar comes even close to a fresh pineapple.
Learning how to cut a pineapple is quick and easy. A pineapple can be intimidating–sort of like when I first jumped off the top tier of a diving board. Looking down at the vast waters waaaaaaay below was incredibly intimidating. I wasn’t sure I could do it. But once I took the plunge, I realized just how simple it could be. Cutting a pineapple is the same. Once you take the plunge, you’ll see just how easy it is. There are really no special tools needed other than a cutting knife, paring knife, and potato peeler.
So just how do you choose fresh pineapples? It’s really quite simple and it requires just a pluck of a leaf…To test the ripeness of a pineapple, gently pull out one of the center leaves. If it comes out easily, it’s ripe. Easy, right?
Now listen up…here’s a secret many people don’t know about for a great tasting pineapple…Are you ready? When you get home, turn the pineapple upside down in your refrigerator. You heard me. UPSIDE DOWN. Why? This allows the sugar that has settled at the bottom of the pineapple to run back through the fruit making it juicy and sweet and scrumptious when cut. Leave it in the fridge for about 30 minutes before cutting.
The first thing you want to do after taking the pineapple out of the fridge is to separate the leaves from the fruit. This can be easily accomplished by turning the fruit on it’s side and with one hand holding the fruit and the other hand grasping the whole of the leaves, twist and pull the leaves hard to pluck it right off. Ta-da! Not bad. You must be eating your spinach.
Keeping the fruit on its side, slice about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch off each end.
Using your knife, go around the circle of the pineapple shaving the sides to remove the skin.
You’ll probably have some brown divots remaining on the pineapple. No problem. Using your handy-dandy potato peeler, use the end of the peeler to gently dig them out. They should come out relatively easy. Can you see your pineapple shaping up nicely? It’s looking pretty appetizing, right? I guess if you want, you can stop here and eat your pineapple like corn on the cob. But, I wouldn’t advise it. Pretty darn messy. Let’s go to the next step.
You’re now ready to cut your pineapple. Turn your pineapple on its side and slice it to about 1/2-inch to 1-inch thick; or to desired thickness.
Once sliced, cut out the center core, if desired. Just lay a slice flat and with a sharp paring knife, cut around the outside of the core and pop it out. There’s already a natural line on the outside of the core for you to use as a guide.
Here’s the best part…eat as is or slice into bite-size pieces by cutting with the grain of the pineapple. Incredibly delicious, sweet, juicy, and…well, I’ll have to stop here. I’m looking like a toddler right now eating with my hands, pineapple bits smeared on my face, and juice dribbling down my apron.
And that’s how you cut a pineapple! Gotta run!