It surprises me how many people do not know how to select and cut a pineapple. I have heard many people say that they love pineapple but they don’t buy it because they don’t know how to cut it up properly.
Well folks… here is how.
1. Selecting a Pineapple – First there are many different opinions on how to select a pineapple. This happens to be the way that I do it. When choosing a pineapple it really depends on when you want to eat it. If you want to eat it right away, look for a pineapple that has a golden color to the eyes starting at the bottom of the fruit. It should give off a fragrant smell of pineapple. However, if the pineapple smells too sweet then it may be past its prime. The outside should have a little give to it, but not too much. If you don’t want to eat it right away, look for one that is a little bit more green. It will not give off as much fragrance. The outside should be firmer. You can put it in the fridge, but I just put mine on the counter for a few days. There are some that say if the center spike of the pineapple pulls away from the fruit easily then it is ready. I have never really trusted this advice and only have managed to poke myself with the other spikes while attempting to do so. I rely on the color, smell, and touch to determine if the fruit is ready.
2. Cutting the Pineapple – Most important. Sharp knife! If your knives are dull, sharpen them! A sharp knife causes less kitchen accidents. Cut off the top.
3. Cut Four Sides – Set the pineapple on its bottom and cut the sides. Cut in about a 1/4 of an inch or so to fully cut the eyes out of the flesh of the pineapple. You might feel like you are wasting some of the pineapple but it will save you time picking out eyes later. If on your first cut you don’t cut out the eyes cut a little deeper.
4. Cut the Four Corners – Cut off the corners the same depth as you did the sides.
5. Cut Off the Bottom – Turn on the side and cut off the bottom.
6. Cut In Half – Stand upright and cut.
7. Stand Halves Up and Cut
8. Stand Up Quarter and Cut Out Center – The center core of the pineapple is fibrous and need to cut it out. Cut 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the core off of each quarter. Cut all four sections the same.
9. Determine Sizes – Cut the remaining pieces into the sizes you would like to serve.
If you have too much pineapple, you can always make soup. I found this great recipe for Canh Dua Thit Heo at Viet World Kitchen from Andrea Nguyen.