The Pineapple. One of the most delicious gifts from nature. Sweet. Sweet. Sweet. Yum. Yum. Yum.
Before we get to cutting it up, let’s talke about how you choose a good one? I heard this tip from Dole (the biggest growers of pineapples ever.) Some folks say to look for the color, some say to pull a leaf from the crown. Dole says neither of these matter, but suggest (and I live by this advice now) to look at the size of the eyes. You know, the little fish scale looking things on the outside. A ripe pineapple will have eyes that are the same size at the top and at the bottom. Underripe pineapples will have smaller scales or eyes at the top and larger ones at the bottom.
A good tip for all fruit, is that you should choose the heaviest one for its size. Heavy means juicy.
And obviously, the crown or leaves should be nice and plump, not all wilty. And it shouldn’t smell pungent or be soft. These are both signs that it’s been sitting on the shelf too long.
Okay now onto cutting the pineapple. Ready. Go.
1. Remove the crown by twisting it from the base.
2. Cut a slice off the bottom and top to give yourself a flat surface.
3. Place it upright and cut the skin off. Try to remove as little of the flesh as possible by following the contour of the pineapple. Don’t worry about leaving some of the eyes. We will clean it up later.
4. Now take time to trim off any skin that remains and cut off large eyes. Poor pineapple, it looks so… naked.
5. Stand the pineapple up and cut the pineapple in two lengthwise.
6. Now cut the pineapple in quarters. Again, lengthwise.
7. Now get rid of that pesky fibrous core. Just stand each quarter up and slice the inner triangle off. You will be able to see where to cut, if you look closely. The core is lighter in color and the fibers are tight and relatively dry-looking compared to the rest of the pineapple.
8. Cut each quarter into smaller wedges. (If you want chunks start here, if you want tidbits start at #10)
9. Turn those wedges sideways and make slices crosswise.
10. If you want smaller tidbits, then follow steps #1-7. Then cut into wedges, but make the cuts closer to each other and make more of those cuts.
11. Again turn the wedges and cut them crosswise. Again smaller pieces.
And you are done and you end up with these.
Aloha! A taste of the tropics in the dead of winter!