How to Select and Cut a Pineapple

Did you know pineapples don’t grow on trees? Well I didn’t. Imagine my surprise when I first saw a pineapple on what looked like a huge oversized spiny-leafed plant on the ground. I thought I had just stumbled onto a scene of some movie set. The first time I visited Oahu, Hawaii friends of mine drove me out to a pineapple plantation and lo and behold there they were, pineapples growing on a huge plant and not dangling from a tree. I giggle every time I see a pineapple. Admit it, you thought they grew on trees too.

I love pineapple, especially fresh pineapple but there is always the issue of how to pick one and how to get to the golden juicy fruit on the inside without making too much of a mess. I have certainly had several of those messy moments. So here is our version of how to pick the perfect pineapple and how to get to the juicy fruit on the inside without sacrificing all that delicious fruit.

First you do need to select a pineapple that is plump and fresh looking. The leaves in the crown should be fresh and green, and the body of the pineapple firm. Ease in pulling leaves from the crown is not a sign of ripeness.

If you don’t plan to use your fresh pineapple right away, store it in your refrigerator, where it will keep longer.

Step #1 Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut off the top and the bottom of the pineapple.

 Step #2 Stand the fruit on one end and carefully slice off the skin with the sharp knife.

Step #3 Using a paring knife or melon baller, remove any brown spots or “eyes” from the pineapple.

Step #4 Decide whether you want chunks, wedges, or rings and follow the directions that follow:

For chunks: Stand the peeled pineapple upright, slicing downward, cut four long slices, leaving only the core. Discard the core and cut the slices into chunks.

For wedges: Quarter the peeled pineapple lengthwise. Stand each quarter on one end and cut away the center core. Slice the quarters into thick or thin wedges. If you want to use wedges for garnish, leave the outer skin intact and then continue to cut the pineapple into wedges.

For rings: Slice the peeled pineapple crosswise into rings. Using a small round cookie cutter, melon baller, or knife remove the core from each slice.

For grilled pineapple: Brush the pineapple slices lightly with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil or coconut oil, then place the pineapple slices on the grill, turning when softened slightly and marked by the grill, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and allow cooling to room temperature.

Enjoy putting your newly acquired skills to use by making some of the following recipes:

Piña Colada

Tacos al Pastor with Roasted Pineapple Salsa (Grilled Pork Tacos)

Written by Veronica / Photos by Jeanine