How to Tame a Pineapple

When I buy a pineapple, which is about once a week, I have to get the whole deal.  The vulnerable appearance of the sheared, beheaded version, its core hollowed out….. sitting there in its plastic hut….. isolated from its albeit unnatural environment, does inspire pathos, but not enough for me to rescue it and bring it home.  No disrespect intended.
It claims a fair amount of space in the market, comparable to that of the adjacent honeydews and cantaloupes.  And yet, I don’t often see it in the other carts at the checkout.
Perhaps there are statistics on people who don’t buy pineapple ‘au naturel’ out of fear or dread that it will turn out to be a bit much to deal with at the end of a busy day.  I should do a survey.  For now I am happy to offer these instructions for the apprehensive, however few of you there might be.

Au Naturel

Begin by slicing off the top just below the shoulder.  Pineapple ripens from the bottom up and will continue to do so even as it sits in your fridge.  Take a minimal slice off of the bottom and discard.  This will be your slicing end.  It probably goes without saying that the beast is laid on its side when putting a knife to it. A one inch thick slice should be enough to throw into a salad or a smoothie, depending.  Holding the slice in one hand, the other hand pares the gorgeously patterned exterior in one circumferential strip.  Then, working in a circular direction, cut off wedges up to, but not including the core, which will be about 1½ in. diam. and can be discarded.  The rest of the pineapple can be stored standing on a plate in the fridge, ready to be of service. Wouldn’t a video be appropriate here?  Yes, but that’s for another learning curve.  Stay with me and have a look at these pics.

Uncrowned

Off the Shoulder

Bottom Heel

First Slice

Necklace?

Getting There

Voilà!

It’s a very giving fruit.  Available year-round, it combines well with most other fruits, works nicely with spinach, celery, radicchio, fennel, meat, fish, AND it’s also high in anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties (which is especially good for us of a certain age!).

Ligularia

Buddleia

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2 Responses to How to Tame a Pineapple

  1. Ellen says:

    Thanks for the instruction. I have always peeled the whole thing at once which is messy and means we have to eat it quickly. However, I like how clean and bleached my hands are after peeling a pineapple. I will try it piece by piece.

    • Maureen says:

      I know what you mean Ellen. I’ve noticed an interesting mucilaginous quality to the juice when I handle pineapple, which, even though it’s sticky, does seem to leave my hands and nails really clean after rinsing.

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