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Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'm tired of Bananas and Oranges

                 . . . So let's have some pineapple! 

We had another winter storm blow through yesterday, after teasing us with beautiful weather for the past couple of days.  In fact I even took my bike out on the open road for a few miles, even though it was still a bit chilly out.  Now today,  more snow. . . Pineapple was the perfect pick-me-up!

Selecting a pineapple:    
I have heard many different ways to look for "ripe" pineapple, such as slightly tugging on one of the leaves, which is fine, but what if you are at the grocery store and you are let's say, the 16th customer to test that pineapple? well naturally speaking that leaf is going to be weak and may pop right out, but not because it's ripe, but because it's been abused. Color isn't a solid indicator either.  


 Someone once told me that if you see signs of age in the leaves, or to check for dried/wilted flower at the base, looking for the beginning of mold on the bottom around the flower, these were how to tell if the pineapple was ripe. . . well, not necessarily.  Again, if the pineapple is just old, this is not a very good indicator, but is a tad better than the pulling on the leaf method.

The best way to determine is a pineapple is ripe is to notice the eyes on the pineapple, there is a little poky thing coming out of the center of each eye. . .

they should be uniform in diameter throughout the length (top to bottom) of the pineapple. 

 This simple little gadget is a must have for fresh pineapple lovers!

If one or two pineapples are all you use a year, you may not want to invest in the $15-$20 little gadget, but then again, if making things easy and simple is the name of your game, you may reconsider even for the one pineapple a year.  

First cut off the top and the bottom, so you have a flat solid surface on both ends of the pineapple 

Center your pineapple corer over center of the core, apply pressure in a downward direction and twist the handle until you poke out the other end

Like This

Pressing in on the tabs located on the handle remove it from the pineapple slicer

 Slide the skin off, then slide the pineapple off the tube, next remove the core

to remove the core, use the blunt handle of a fork, knife, spoon whatever kitchen tool you desire, firmly tap on the core to begin sliding it from the inside of the core.  Once it is started then you may just grab onto it and finish pulling it out.

 For round pineapple slices cut on one side of your spiral and the slices come out in a circle.
This little gadget is best to use when you want to have pineapple chunks, If you want circles they will have a cut on one side.  For me slices in my circles is typically not that big of a deal, however, for you it might be.  If you want continuous circles like for BBQ'ing then this old fashioned way is the method you will want to use.  Which is demonstrated at the bottom of this post.

For us, we love pineapple and with this awesome gadget we are more inclined to add pineapple to our shopping list more frequently.  Fresh pineapple is simply better than the canned stuff!

 For chunks, just keep cutting them until they are the size just right for you!

 Yum, Yum, Yum
 This pineapple took about 2 minutes to cut and slice up, and that INCLUDED taking pictures!

The Other Way to Cut a Pineapple: 
In other words; you don't have a fancy cutter. . . 

(The old fashioned way)
cut the top and bottom off, just like if using the pineapple corer/slicer.
Then slice off one side of the pineapple, cutting off the eyes all the way to the flesh.

 Now going around your pineapple, you can see where the eyes end into the outer edge.  Cut just behind them.
 This method isn't quite as fool proof, as you can see that I will need to trim off of couple of eyes that were left behind on the bottom edge, but your pineapple is ready to slice.  if you want chunks, just cut around the core, cutting them how you like them. 
 For slices you will need to remove the tough fiberous core.  To do this use a small biscuit or cookie cutter, and cut the core out of each slice, just like you would cut the hole out of a donut.  
I know, you are probably saying, hey wait a minute, this pineapple ring is sliced!  Very observant of you. . . it is.  See, I forgot to take a picture of this little trick, so I pieced one back together just to be able to show you. . . that's dedication. . .  I hope you appreciate it.  :-)

Either way you cut it, pineapple is good stuff
I'm going to have some pineapple!!!

Bottom Line: What I Think- - -
So, this little gadget has it's place!  It's fast, easy and fairly foolproof. The Limitations are that it's very specific as to what it can do. . . pineapple.  The other thing to watch for is that it only does one thickness size, so if you have a fat pineapple there may be more waste than you would like.  If you have a TALL pineapple, it can be tricky to get your corer all the way through.  Mine is stainless steel, but they also come in plastic, while plastic isn't as durable, it is all one piece making clean up afterward a little easier.  As you can see with this one, the pineapple gets stuck in the joints and it becomes necessary to clean all of that out.  Not to bothersome, but it does need to be done nonetheless.  Overall, I would recommend this if you like pineapple and purchase it more than 3-4 times a year.

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