How to Choose a Pineapple
A good ripe pineapple has much richer flavor and sweetness than the canned variety. Cutting through the hard, bumpy skin (not to mention the unedible core) of a pineapple can seem like a daunting task. In reality, there is a very simple method for peeling a pineapple that will leave you with the most good, juicy fruit. Here is my preferred method for peeling and cutting a pineapple accompanied by step-by-step photos.
Choose a Good Pineapple
When shopping, choose a pineapple that has firm, gold to brown skin (not too green) with green, loose leaves (not brown or wilted). A ripe pineapple will have a strong, fresh pineapple smell.
To peel the pineapple you will need a long knife. I use a long, serrated bread knife because it is slightly flexible making it easier to follow the contour of the pineapple.
Cut Off the Top and Bottom of the Pineapple
Twist or cut off the leaves and about a 1/2 inch of the top and bottom of the pineapple. If you like, you can use the top and leaves as part of a tabledecoration.
Turn the Pineapple Upright
Turn the pineapple upright onto its base. Notice the dark brown “eyes” around the edge of the pineapple. These run lengthwise through the pineapple and have a very unpleasant taste.
Your First Pineapple Cut
Place your knife on top of the fruit just behind one of the eyes. The eyes run down the side of the pineapple in a column. Slice down to the bottom of the fruit slightly turning your knife at the top and bottom to follow the curved shape of thepineapple. Stay close to the “eye” so you don’t waste too much good fruit.
Results of Your First Pineapple Cut
The first cut you made will be wider than subsequent slices. Notice the rows of eyes on each side of the cut.
Peeling the Rest of the Pineapple
Cut off the rest of the pineapple skin by slicing down from top to bottom along each row of eyes (as revealed by your first cut). Your knife should be behind the eyes at approximately a 45-degree angle. Don’t try to cut off too much of the peel at once or you will take a lot of good fruit with it.
The Peeled Pineapple
Once you have completely peeled the pineapple, check the fruit over for any skin or eyes you may have missed. Remove any remaining eyes with a paring knife.
If you wish to slice the pineapple into rings, remove the core with a pineapple corer and slice to desired thickness. Alternatively, slice the pineapple into rings and remove the core from each ring with a paring knife.
Removing the Pineapple Core – Step 1
If you desire to cut the pineapple into wedges or chunks, first cut the pineapple into four sections. Cut straight down through the center core and then again through the center core of each half.
Removing the Pineapple Core – Step 2
Place the quarter section of the pineapple core side up. Slice away the core by cutting lengthwise just under core. The core is easily distinguishable from the edible fruit because it is lighter in color and fibrous in texture. Repeat with remaining quarters.
Dice the Pineapple Fruit
Once the core has been removed, cut the pineapple into desired sizes. To store, place in an airtight container and refrigerate.