Monday, October 5, 2009

Pineapple Express

A wise man once asked, "Do you like Piña Coladas?" And I do, as well as a whole host of other things that feature delicious, juicy, lovely, tropical pineapple as a main ingredient. And pineapple is actually a very healthy food (full of enzymes and vitamin C), and surprisingly cheap, so long as, instead of buying the conveniently pre-cut pineapple chunks, you buy the whole fruits and cut them up yourself. It only takes a few minutes, and much like opting for full heads of lettuce over pre-washed plastic clamshells, this one simple change will save you a lot of change (and some bills, too). And it's better for the environment because it eliminates the use of wasteful single-use plastic containers. The problem I've found, however, is that the persnickety pineapple happens to be one of the most difficult fruits to dismantle properly. Happily, I believe I have finally mastered this skill, and you can too (so long as you have half a brain), so I've created step-by-step instructions to help you tame this spiny beast yourself. Once you've conquered this skill, we can reconvene to discuss our mutual feelings on getting caught in the rain and the pros and cons of making love at midnight in the dunes of the Cape (i.e. errant sand). But, for now, just stick with the pineapple.





Step 1: Using a large knife (please don't attempt this with some rinky-dink steak knife -- get out the big guns), cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple, creating a level surface on the bottom.






Step 2: Place the pineapple upright on it's flat bottom. Use the knife to cut the exterior off in strips from top to bottom, cutting just deep enough to completely remove the eyes at the center of each strip, leaving edges where the strips have been removed (don't worry about these corners- you will come back and get them in the next step).




Step 3: Cut thinner strips from top to bottom, at the edges of where the first set of strips met, all the way around the pineapple, cutting just deep enough to remove the remaining eyes. (See? - I told you you would get them all eventually).





Step 4: Slice all the way through the pineapple from top to bottom, cutting just to the side of the pineapple's woody center.






Step 5: Repeat step 4 with the remaining sides, until all of the flesh is cut away from the woody core. Discard the core.






Step 6: Cut the pineapple's flesh into slices or chunks (whatever your preference).







Step 7: Store the pineapple chunks in an airtight plastic container in your fridge. The flesh will stay fresh and delicious for more than a week. Who knows? By the time you are done with it, you may feel that you and pineapple have been together too long (like the worn-out recording of a favorite song...)

1 comment:

Ellen said...

The top of the pineapple can be used as a nice addition to a fruit salad to make it look pretty and "like you planned it" :)