Cutting a Fresh Pineapple

I have been completely amazed at how many people miss out on the experience of a fresh-cut pineapple because they have no idea how to even start the process of cutting one up.  Well, if you are one of those people, I am here to help.  It is actually really easy. Ready? Here we go…

Ingredients:

Pineapple 🙂

Directions:

First of all we need to pick out the best pineapple at the store.  I haven’t met many pineapples that were not juicy and delicious but I have definitely had some that have made me “ooo” and “awww” with every single bite, the pineapple that you don’t stop eating until your tongue sprouts a sugar bump… You know the kind.  Here is how to increase your chances of finding that pineapple… 

Everyone seems to have their own opinion about picking the perfect pineapple but I have found these tricks to be the most effective. #1. Tug on one of the leaves at the very top of the pineapple, in the center.  They should come out easily and should look fresh, not shriveled.  #2. The base of the pineapple should smell sweet.  If it doesn’t smell, chances are, it won’t be very tasty.  If it smells fermented, it is going to taste fermented as well.  You really can not tell a ripe pineapple much by the color. I tend to lean toward bright yellow but evidently an all-green pineapple can still be just as sweet and ripe. Do stay away from pineapples with brown or black spots, however. There are also people who say that making sure the eyes (the little scales) on the pineapple are uniform in size.  I don’t know if this one is true but I do it anyway.  I have also heard that an hour before you cut your pineapple, you should store it upside-down because a pineapple ripens from the bottom so the sweeter juices will be at the bottom of your fruit.  Supposedly, turning it upside-down will make those juices flow toward the top of your pineapple.   

I usually try to find all of these above characteristics in my pineapple and I rarely find one that is not juicy and sweet.  Ok, my lecture is over, let’s get to cutting.

Step one: Cut the top and the base of the pineapple off about a half-inch into the fruit so you have a nice flat surface on both ends. Make sure you use a large, sharp knife (ie, chef’s knife).

Step two: Starting from the top, hold your knife just inside the rind and cut all the way down to the base of the pineapple.  Repeat this step until you pineapple is rind-free.  You may have to do a small amount of clean up if you still have a few “eyes” that your knife skipped.

Step three: Starting from the top and cutting down, cut the pineapple in half.

Step four: Cut each half in half (you should now have four pieces in case you’ve lost count 🙂 )

*Sometimes I stop here and slice large, thin (1/2″) triangular slices if I am serving them on a platter but most of the time when I am serving my family I move on to the next steps…

Step five: Starting from the top, cut the core from the center.

Step six: Cut each quarter into thirds. 

Step seven: Cut each third into bite-sized pieces and serve.  Enjoy!

Keep your pineapple in an airtight container in the refrigerator (if there is any left).

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