Monday, August 16, 2010

Slicing Pineapple- Sometimes it's just nice to have a visual

Months ago I got my hands on a perfectly ripe pineapple. You could walk in the kitchen and inhale its candy sweet perfume. While traveling in Thailand, I gorged myself on fresh pineapple. Street vendors would use unnecessarily large knives to split the pineapple into perfect columns and sell three chilly columns in a sandwich bag for fifty cents. I tried to write down everything we ate while on our four-month S.E. Asia adventure back in 2003, and according to my notes, I  must have eaten a half a pineapple a day. 

I almost feel guilty when I buy pineapple in Seattle. It has traveled such a great distance to get to me. Though I can't always buy local and organic produce, I do try my best to stay local. So pineapple is considered a treat to me or super guilty pleasure- is there a difference? We grilled it and put it in a Thai Beef Salad (recipe post on that soon), I made a salsa out of it and of course we ate it raw.

Slicing into a pineapple can be damn intimidating. Not only does it have a sexy, skin-tight, reptile outfit on, pineapples also wear an obnoxious leafy hat! So instead of writing descriptive details on how to easily slice a pineapple, I've demonstrated through photos.
After ripping off the leafy-green top, I like to use a bread knife or the equivalent to slice off the outer skin. The main trick that is hard to master when slicing pineapple, is to remove as much of the peeling as possible without sacrificing fruit. I'm still working on mastering that. 
After discarding the leafy top, next slice off the top and bottom. Then, like slicing melon, you work your knife gently around the pineapple until it's clean. You can then make pineapple rounds (which will still contain a core) or you can split the pineapple in quarters and slice off the fibrous core from each quarter.
There are many ways to slice pineapple- since I was using it in multiple dishes, I kept it simple. For true inspiration for slicing pineapple, look up Thai fruit carving- it will blow your mind. Pineapple sliced into butterflies? Of course!

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