Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How to Buy and Cut Pineapple plus Fresh Pineapple Recipes

My great niece had a friend visiting a while back, and the child's eyes lit up when she saw a fresh pineapple on my counter. It was if she she was looking at a big chocolate layer cake.

"Are we going to eat pineapple," she asked hopefully?

When I said sure, she had a look of pure joy. My ears were even pierced by that excited squeal that only tweens can do.

A kid excited about fresh fruit. She's OK in my book. This same little angel also took home leftovers of my pasta and pesto cause she'd never tasted anything like it before and she liked it so much. I love this kid!

In any event, my young house guest explained she only got pineapple out of a can, unless she was visiting her grandmother, because her mom didn't know how to cut fresh pineapple (yeah right).

So in her honor, I want to include easy instructions for how to cut pineapple and how to pick a good fresh pineapple. When you get a good fresh pineapple, there's nothing like it. Pick a mediocre one and you might as well have gotten a can.

When buying fresh pineapple, the only way we have of really knowing if it's ripe is by smell (color doesn't really matter). Pick up the pineapple and smell the bottom of it. If it smells like fresh sweet pineapple it's ripe; if it has no smell, it's not ripe yet; and if it smells like wine, it's over ripe and well on its way to rotting.

How to Cut Pineapple
Cutting a fresh pineapple isn't as intimidating as it appears. The first thing to realize is that there will be some waste. With that in mind, here's a simple method.

1. Chop off the top about a 1/2 inch below the leaves.
2. Cut off about 1/2 inch off the bottom.
3. Cut Pineapple into quarters (photo 1).
4. Cut out the inner tough core of each quarter (photo 2).
5. Discard core and cut away skin of pineapple, making the cuts as shallow as possible, while still removing the "eyes" from the fruit (photo 3).
6. Slice quarters into slices of desired thickness.

Favorite Fresh Pineapple Recipes
Food Fun -- Pineapple Alligator Food Sculpture (pictured at the top of this post)
This awesome alligator is no swamp-lurker, he'd much rather be front and center on your buffet. Creative genius Sidney Escowitz, designed the clever alligator. He generously shared the instructions with Click here for how to make this project.

Sidney has included 50 clever food sculptures in his book Entertaining Edibles. Click here for details.


Jade said...

I love the way you make the pineapple into c crocodile ^^,

Cheri Sicard said...

Hi Jade,

If you like the pineapple alligator you would love the book Entertaining Edibles where it is from. Author Sidney Escowitz is so clever and this book is filled with 50 such sculpture. What I like most is that the majority of Sidney's designs are actually easy enough for the average person to do. He just has a great eye for how to put things together. I think he started this hobby as a way of amusing his grandchildren, and it evoloved into the book.

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