With its long jagged stem and prickly skin, a fresh pineapple is a vision of mouthwatering yet intimidating fruit. Although it is much simpler to purchase pineapple in a can, a ripe pineapple is fresher, firmer and sweeter than its preserved counterpart. Peeling, coring and cutting a fresh pineapple is a daunting task, but the succulent reward is well worth the effort.
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Peeling a Pineapple
Select a large, sharp knife. A dull knife requires excessive force, increasing the chance you may accidentally cut yourself.
Remove the stalk. Grasp the pineapple in one hand and the stem in the other and twist them in opposite directions; the stalk will come away from the pineapple easily.
Cut the top off of the pineapple. Grasp the knife firmly in one hand and the pineapple in the other. Apply the knife about 1/2 inch into the fruit at the top and slice through.
Turn the pineapple around and cut off the bottom, using the same method as in Step 3.
Stand the pineapple on one freshly-cut flat end.
Place the knife at the top of the pineapple, about 1/4 inch from the edge, and press downward to cut off a section of the pineapple's skin. Spin the pineapple clockwise and repeat the process until all the skin is trimmed away. Take care to remove as little flesh as possible.
Coring a Pineapple
Set the pineapple upright and cut lengthwise into quarters. The core is fibrous and is a lighter color than the fruit.
Remove one section and, with the piece still upright, cut the center core section out of the pineapple.
Look at the fruit where you removed the core. If the flesh looks fibrous, cut another thin slice until you no longer see the tough fibers.
Remove the core from the remaining sections, using the process in Step 3.
Cutting the Pineapple into Chunks
Lay a quarter of the pineapple on its side.
Cut the pineapple lengthwise into 3 or 4 more slices.
Turn these strips and cut them into 1/4 inch chunks.
Cutting the Pineapple into Rings
Lay the peeled pineapple on its side. Grasp the fruit with one hand and your knife in the other.
Use a paring knife to remove the core from each slice.
Cut the pineapple into rings of your desired thickness.