Live Like An Islander

Well, maybe just a little bit.  So, we can’t all live on the Hawaiian islands, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some fresh pineapple.  Especially, this time of the year (March – July) when pineapples are at their peak.

What’s holding you back?  Not sure how to pick a ripe one?  Don’t know how to cut it?  Do you buy this?

Instead of this?

I find the fruit tastes so much better when I pick it out and cut it myself, and I think you will, too.  Yes, I know it isn’t as good as freshly picked in a tropical location, but I can settle for a tasty second best if you can.

How to choose?  Look for the largest and plumpest ones with crisp, dark green leaves.  It should be firm to a gentle press and only yield slightly.  If you have a good nose, you should be able to get a faint, pleasant pineapple aroma at the base of the fruit when it is ripe.  Avoid pineapples that are overly soft, wrinkled, cracked, or have yellow or brown leaves.  Don’t believe folks who tell you that a pineapple is ripe when a leaf can be removed from the crown easily – it is often a sign the fruit is rotten.

Once you’ve gotten the fruit home, you need to cut it for eating.

I use a large knife and a cutting board.  Place the fruit on its side and slice off the lid and the base.

Stand the fruit upright again, and slice down the the side from top to bottom to remove the rough skin.  Try to leave as much of the sweet flesh as possible.  I trim off any remaining eye spots (those brown areas) as I go.

Once all the skin is removed, I lay the fruit on its side again in order to cut the pineapple into slices.

We most often enjoy fresh pineapple as is – I don’t add it to recipes.  Because of that, I just cut it into bite-size wedges, so I cut each slice in half.

Then, I trim out any remaining brown eye holes and remove the core from each half.

I further cut each half into smaller pieces.

Your cut pineapple should be stored in an airtight container (I just use a big zip-top bag) in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days.

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