Friday, March 16, 2012

Pinkie the Pineapple - Pineapple cutting 101

I love pineapples! I remember my parents going to Hawaii when I was younger and bringing back a box of fresh Dole pineapples from the plantation. They were amazing! I loved their fresh bright sweet smell and how the juice just ached to dribble down my chin. The salesman and I were lucky enough to get a trip to Hawaii for our honeymoon from family and friends and we also visited the Dole plantation while we were there. It was so beautiful. We had rented a jeep for that one day and made a quick trip around the island and our last major stop was the plantation. We both quickly gobbled up as many pineapple delights that we could get our hands on including freshly cut pineapples and pineapple sherbet. It was all amazing.
Well, one trick I learned early on in my cooking days was how to properly cut a pineapple. I worked for a full service bridal store where I went to college and we did on site catering. The chef didn't care for many in the store but for some reason he let me come in and chat and observe while he worked. He taught me how to properly cut a pineapple to get the least amount of waste and even chunks. I still use the same method to this day and am always in shock when I hear others say they don't know how to cut one. Pineapples are super easy to cut and are well worth the elbow work since a whole pineapple is about a third of the price of what you would pay for a precut one that has a nasty brine over it to prevent it from getting brown. And canned pineapples...don't go there. It is sort of like canned chicken and you know how I feel about that. The only time I will allow you to use canned is if you are marinating with it...and that's about it.
 Lay the pineapple down flat and cut off  top
 Flip it and cut off the bottom
 Stand the pineapple up.Using either a sharp flat or serrated knife, begin cutting off the sides  by gently pushing your knife down. Be sure you are far enough in to remove the seeds but not too far in to remove too much flesh.
 Continue to cut around the pineapple until all sides are removed.
 Now, you want to cut a triangle form to remove the core, so cut one large chunk off at an angle (you can see I am right next to the rounded center)
 Cut the remaining two sides off. That will leave you a nice core to nibble on. You can also throw the core into a pot of steeping tea to infuse it with some yummy flavor!
 Now you have these three large wedges. Cut them in long strips, then turn and cut them into cubes.

Ta-Da! You did it! How easy was that??
So, for all of you who have been scared to get on your big girl britches and learn, fear no more!
Enjoy Y'all!

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