During Crist’s January visit to the Mitten, we got to talking about pineapples (what? Like you don’t just start talking to YOUR friends about tropical fruit?). We were at the grocery store, and I mentioned that I will not buy the cored, packaged pineapples, unless they’re the same price as the whole ones. You see, in my old age, I have become that crotchety lady who exclaims things like “Five DOLLARS? For a PINEAPPLE??” (in my head, of course – I’m not totally nuts). I’m just not willing to pay for a lot of convenience foods these days. So, rather than spending $5 for a cored, cleaned pineapple, I pay $3 for a whole one, and I break it down myself.
It’s a little bit messy, and it takes a couple minutes, but it’s pretty easy! And when you’re done, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you broke down that pineapple with a knife and your own two hands, just like your ancestors did! (What do you mean, pineapples were an exotic, foreign treasure to most of our ancestors??)
How To Break Down a Pineapple
1.) Start with a large cutting board, a sharp chef’s knife, and your pineapple. Begin by cutting the top and the bottom of the pineapple off. (Rumor has it you can grow a new pineapple from the top of a fully-grown one, and it only takes about a year. So, if you’ve got a year and some space on your windowsill, give it a whirl and report back!)
2.) Stand your pineapple up on end, and use your knife to cut thin slices of the skin/peel off, doing your best to follow the curve of the fruit. Continue doing this all the way around the pineapple.
3.) If needed, make a second pass around the pineapple to get all the eyes off the fruit. Just be careful not to take off more fruit than you need to!
4.) Once the pineapple is clean, you want to cut the softer, more edible fruit away from the hard, fibrous core. I do this by cutting off the “cheeks”, as I would with an apple – make one cut straight between the good fruit and the core, turn the pineapple 90°, make another cut between the fruit and the core, turn another 90°, etc etc, until just the core remains. Discard the core.
5.) Lay each “cheek” down on its flat side, and first cut it into long strips; then, chop those long strips into bite-size pieces!
And that, my friends, is how you cut a pineapple! Totally worth the $2 savings, right?? Right.
Given that I didn’t realize a lot of people wouldn’t know how to break down a pineapple, maybe there are other tutorials I could share here? If you have a cooking or food question, feel free to ask in the comments… and if I can help, I will! But no promises guys, I’m not as smart as I look.
Seriously, will someone try to grow their own pineapple for me?