Native to South and Central America, pineapple features a bright and tropical taste that is both sweet and tart. You can enjoy pineapple all on its own, in fruit smoothies, as chocolate covered pineapple, or even in more savory applications, such as on top of ham or pork.
Pineapples also boast several health benefits. They’re loaded with vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. They also contain high amounts of antioxidants that help your body ward off oxidative stress, along with digestive enzymes called bromelain that have been shown to aid in digestion.
Pineapples look tricky to cut due to their prickly skin and spiky leaves. Luckily, cutting this deliciously fresh fruit is not as challenging as it may appear. Read on to learn how it’s done.
How to Tell if a Pineapple is Ripe
When choosing a perfectly ripe pineapple, look for fruits with vibrant bright green leaves. The exterior of the pineapple should have a greenish-yellow hue. However, green pineapples may sometimes be ripe, so you’ll need to pay attention to other signs as well. Ripe pineapples should be firm but “give” a little when squeezed. If it’s rock hard, it’s unlikely to be ripe. Another surefire way to tell if a pineapple is ripe is by smelling it. Ripe pineapples have a sweet smell at the bottom. Pineapples that don’t emit any smell are not ripe, while those with a pungent odor are often overripe.
For a delicious taste of pineapple, consider our Pineapple Bouquet. It features fresh slices of pineapple, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Or consider our Pineapple Drip Cakes® And Swizzle Berries®. Cake-shaped pineapples are dipped in gourmet chocolate and topped with colorful chocolate glaze, while fresh, juicy strawberries are dipped in gourmet semisweet chocolate and drizzled in white chocolate.
How to Cut a Pineapple
Cutting a pineapple isn’t as challenging as you may think. You’ll need a cutting board and a sharp knife. Here’s how to get started.
- Place the ripe pineapple on its side on the cutting board. Hold the pineapple with your non-cutting hand as you slice off about a quarter inch below the spiky top of the pineapple. Turn the fruit around and slice about a quarter-inch of the bottom of the pineapple as well. Be sure not to remove too much fruit off the top or bottom. You just want an even base that you can use to keep the pineapple steady as you continue to cut.
- Your next step is to remove the prickly rind. Stand the pineapple upright. Start from the top and slice about a quarter-inch inward from the rind, “peeling” away the rind while removing as little fruit as possible. Turn the pineapple and continue all the way around the fruit until the peel is completely removed.
- Next, clean up your fruit. Make sure you remove all patches of rind, dark spots, and other blemishes. You may also notice prickly brown spots. These are called eyes and also need to be removed.
- Finally, you’ll core the pineapple. In other words, you’ll remove the dark yellow center of the pineapple that’s fibrous and less pleasant to eat than the surrounding fruit. To do this, set the pineapple on its bottom. Slice it half lengthwise. Turn 90 degrees and slice it in half again. Stand each quarter back up again, find the dark yellow core, and slice it out.
- Next, you can cut each pineapple quarter into chunks, spears, or wedges. You can even dice it for recipes that require smaller pieces, such as pineapple salsa.
- If you would rather end up with rings instead of pineapple chunks, you have another option. Once the rind is completely removed, lay the pineapple on its side. Starting from one end, slice the pineapple in the thickness you desire. Once you have round discs, you can use a small paring knife to carefully cut out the core in a circular pattern.
How to Store a Pineapple After It Has Been Cut
After you cut a pineapple, you can place it in a sealed container and store it in the refrigerator. Finish it within five to seven days for the best results. Alternatively, you can freeze pineapple in the freezer for up to six months. To prevent the pineapple chunks or slices from sticking to one another, spread them out on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid. Then transfer them to a sealed container and place it in the freezer.
Pineapple may look prickly and unwieldy, but it’s actually easier to cut than you might imagine. It takes a little bit of practice, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it. Plus, the reward of fresh, juicy pineapple makes it all worth it. With this pineapple cutting guide, you’ll be on your way to enjoying this delicious fruit by itself, adding it to fresh fruit platters, adding it to smoothies, and more!