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Monday, June 20, 2011

How to Slice a Pineapple

I shall show you how I handle pineapples here. Not too difficult a task if you have the correct technique and tools.

Mamapumpkin and Barbara, this tutorial is for you.

How I slice away the skin depends on the shape of the pineapple. Today's example is a Yan Kee pineapple, not easy to slice due to it's irregular shape.

Here's what I did. Cut of the crown. Keep the stem, handy as a handle especially when managing a big pineapple.

Wash pineapple.

Start from base and slice away, going round the pineapple. This is when the stem comes handy. Turn slice, turn slice. Like this :

And this is what you should get. Don't worry if it breaks halfway. Continue slicing in circulars. I find this method of slicing saves me time and I waste less, ie I don't accidentally slice away much of the flesh

Rinse pineapple with filtered water. Do not rinse after removing the pineapple eyes as you'll remove some of the sweetness and it clogs the fruit with water. If you want a clean and neat looking pineapple, rinse before removing the eyes. The pineapple eyes will run from lower right to upper left or lower left to upper right, depends on how you see it but the direction you slice towards is important. Look at the pineapple below. Look for the direction that gives you a longer strand of pineapple eyes.

Next step - the tricky part, to remove the eyes. Where to slice first ? I always start from bottom, the stem and you need to check the direction of the eyes.
 For this pineapple in sample, you should start from lower right to upper left. Remove the eyes with only one direction of the knife. Do not go zig zag. Too much zig-zag will damage the fiber walls and your pineapple will be juicing (a lot of juice dripping). Use a very sharp knife. The sharpest you can handle. 
 Slice and remove 2-3 eyes. then move to the next line and start slicing and go back to the first line and slice away . Keep this direction. You can also slice one whole line from bottom to top and then slice another line but I'd rather not turn the pineapple so many times. Less handling is better. Less juicing and neater cuts.
Tadaaa.... . total time : 7 minutes.
 Slice away the handle and slice to half and then quarters. Some pineapples like Sarawak and Dole presents better in  horizontal slices but the Yan Kee is tall and long and irregular shaped (large bottom, narrow top) looks better sliced vertically.

Use a very good knife. Not necessary big as long as it's sharp and thin blade knives are preferred. I used a Victorinox paring knife here. The serrated blades are excellent for slicing the tough fibrous skins.

I enjoy slicing my pineapples. I find it therapeutic and I always strive to slice it as neat looking as possible.
How do you slice yours ?