How to Cut Pineapple
28 September 2011
Sometime ago, I saw a cooking demonstration and part of it was on peeling and cutting a pineapple (Ananas comosus).
I thought, "What a waste", a lot of the pineapple is unnecessarily removed, and those are the best parts!
So this blog is on the "correct" way to cut a pineapple, with little waste and the result looks good.
A bought Pineapple, notice the individual fruits arranged spirally.
You can trace the spirals from the bottom left to the top right of the fruit.
The Pineapple Fruit
Pineapple is a compound fruit made up of coalesced smaller fruits.
The individual fruits are arranged in two interlocking spirals (or helix).
This is clearly visible on the rough rind.
When ripe, these individual fruit will look flattened.
At the base of the pineapple is a thick stem.
This runs the length of the pineapple (forming the core), emerging on the top as the crown.
These days, the crown is often removed before the pineapple is shipped here.
Pick a Pineapple
Ripe pineapples should be sweet with an acid flavour.
Several brands and varieties are available, some are better than others.
You may need to try several brands and varieties until you find one that you like.
The more ripe a pineapple, the sweeter it will be.
Look for pineapples with flat rind that has the largest individual fruit markings.
These will be the most ripe.
The fruit fruit should be firm but gives slightly when pressed at the base.
Avoid over ripe fruit, which will have a fermented smell.
Peel the Pineapple
Start by cutting of the base and top.
Place the pineapple on a wooden chopping board, bottom side down.
Use a sharp knife to peel the rind using a slicing motion starting from the top, working your way down until you reach the chopping board.
Only peel enough rind to just expose the flesh.
At this stage, the flesh should have the black "eyes".
The same pineapple peeled, still showing bits of the rind and the "eyes".
The spirals can still be traced on the eyes.
Remove the Eyes
Lay the pineapple on its side on the chopping board.
Make thin diagonal slices along the surface of the flesh to remove the eyes.
Note that eyes can only be removed in one diagonal direction.
If you try to cut in the opposite direction, a number of eyes will not line up and you will end up with ugly criss crossed cuts.
Make diagonal cuts to remove the eyes.
This is what it should look like after eyes have been removed.
Season the pineapple with a little salt to reduce the acid taste.
Leave it to bleed for a few minutes.
For those who are on a low Sodium diet, rinse the pineapple with water at this stage.
Halve then quarter the pineapple lengthways.
For small pineapples, the quarters can be further cut lengthways to make eight slices.
Larger pineapples can be sliced into 12.
Halve, then cut the pineapple into quarters.
Use a sharp knife to remove the core.
The core is fibrous and does not have a lot of flavour.
It discarded or can be candied or juiced.
Remove the core.
The cuts to remove the eyes should result in a nice diagonal pattern on each slice.
Pineapples are sweeter at the base, and by slicing lengthwise, each slice gets a piece of the sweeter base.
The pineapple can be served this way or slices can be further cut into bite sizes.
Alternatively, cut across the pineapple to make rings.