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How to Cut a Pineapple

Three Parts:Choosing a PineapplePeeling the PineappleCutting the Pineapple

The best-tasting parts of the pineapple are on the very edge of the fruit, so it is very important to get the cut right. First, wash the pineapple. Use a sharp chef's knife to lop off the top and bottom of the fruit. Stand the pineapple on one end, and carefully make thin slices down the sides until you have removed all of the prickly skin. Leave as much flesh as possible on the pineapple, and do not worry about removing the "eyes" or brown spots. Once you have removed the stem, the crown, and the skin: cut the pineapple into large circles, or chop it into chunks.

Part 1
Choosing a Pineapple

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    Smell the pineapple. Smell from the bottom to get the most accurate aroma. The pineapple must smell sweet and fresh. If you detect an odor that suggests fermentation or there is no sweetness present, skip that pineapple. [1]
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    Look at the pineapple. Some green on the sides of a pineapple is OK, but the entire pineapple should not be green. A good pineapple is typically golden on the bottom. Avoid pineapples with visible bruising.
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    Press on the pineapple. The pineapple should be firm. It will give a little to firm pressure. If the pineapple feels soft and mushy, then it is overripe. The pineapple should be heavy for its size.
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    Check the crown. Pull off one of the middle leaves. If it comes off easily, the pineapple is good to go.

Part 2
Peeling the Pineapple

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    Place the pineapple on its side. Use a cutting board or other cutting surface.
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    Cut the crown and the stem off. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut them both off about a half inch into the pineapple.
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    Stand the pineapple up on one end. Slice the skin off the sides, going from top to bottom. Cut as thinly as possible. Leave as much flesh as you can remaining on the pineapple; the sweetest part of the pineapple is the most outer flesh.[2]
    • Following the contour of the fruit will help prevent loss of flesh where the pineapple bulges in the middle.
    • Do not remove the eyes (brown spots) while cutting away the skin, or you will lose too much of the good flesh.
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    Remove the eye spots. Eye spots will all line up in diagonal rows on the pineapple. Cut a V-shaped groove along the diagonal line to remove each set of eye spots. The remaining flesh is ready for cutting now.
    • You will lose a bit more of the good pineapple flesh by removing the eyes this way, but it takes significantly less time than removing each eye one by one.

Part 3
Cutting the Pineapple

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    Cut pineapple circles. Lay the peeled pineapple on its side and cut slices around 3/4" inch thick. This will leave you will whole circles of pineapple. You can stick a fork into the thick core to hold the circle.
    • The core is tough, but edible and healthy.
    • You can turn the circles into rings by cutting out the core. This can be done with ease using a round pastry or dough cutter.
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    Cut the pineapple into chunks. Stand the pineapple up and cut it into quarters length-wise. Cut the core from each quarter of pineapple, and then cut each quarter in half length-wise again. Lay each of the strips down and slice them into chunks.
    • One pineapple will yield around 4 cups of chunks.
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    Add the pineapple to your recipe or meal. It is delicious eaten as it is with nothing added or you can add yogurt, whipped cream, crushed nuts, etc. Or use it to make pineapple upside-down cake, as an addition to a meat dish or as a decoration atop a dessert.

Tips

  • Pineapples contain bromelain; this is an enzyme that breaks down protein. This makes pineapple juice great for marinating tough meat but don't marinate for too long or the meat will fall apart. Bromelain also stops gelatin from setting, so if you want to make gelatin desserts using pineapple, either cook it first or used the canned version, as both processes destroy bromelain.
  • Pineapples are low in fat and cholesterol free. They contain vitamin C and trace essential nutrients. And they are brimful of great fiber.
  • The white fibrous matter in the core tastes bitter but some people like this taste. It is safe to eat, and healthy (it contains antioxidants), but it may not be to your liking because it's generally tough, although the actual taste is mild and quite appealing.

Warnings

  • Exercise the usual caution when using a knife. Make sure that the base of the pineapple is stable before slicing off the fruit skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • Pastry/dough cutter if coring pineapple rings

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Categories: Featured Articles | Food Cutting Techniques | Pineapple