Pineapples are scrumptious tropical fruits that have been celebrated not only for their taste but also for their numerous health benefits. They contain compounds that tend to improve the respiratory system, cure cough and cold, improve digestion, help in weight loss, strengthen bones, prevent cancer, and improve the immune system, among others. They are eaten fresh, juiced, tossed into salads, stir-fries and curries. The fruiting season runs from March until June, though it is also available in the supermarkets in the other months as well.
It is very important to cut a pineapple right since the best tasting parts are on its edge. In order to get the tastiest pineapple, smell it from the bottom to get the most accurate aroma. If it smells fresh and sweet go for it else pick another one. Also make sure the entire pineapple is not green and there is a tinge of golden hue at the bottom. A good pineapple will be firm and heavy and not soft and mushy. Another way to check is by pulling out one of the middle leaves. If it comes out easily the pineapple is good to consume.
Peeling the Pineapple
Place the pineapple on the cutting board and use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the crown and stem about half an inch into the pineapple. Then slice the skin off from the sides, starting from the top to bottom. Cut as thinly as possible. Try and leave as much flesh as you can while peeling because the sweetest part of the pineapple is the most outer flesh.
Do not remove the eyes while cutting or you will lose good flesh of the pineapple. Further, the eye spots are arranged in diagonal rows within the pineapple as well.Cut a V-shaped groove along the diagonal line to remove each set of the eye spots. You will of course 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.
Cutting the Pineapple
1. Cut the Pineapple Slices
Lay the peeled pineapple on its side and cut slices around 3/4″ inch thick. This will leave you with 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 also turn the circles into rings by cutting out the core. It can be easily done by using a round dough cutter.
2. 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.