The pineapple is a very sweet tropical fruit. It can be up to 1 foot tall. Pineapple is commonly eaten fresh, in desserts, or cooked as part of a sauce or glaze.
When buying fresh pineapple, choose a good-smelling fruit that feels solid. The topmost leaves should be a bit loose (meaning ripe) and not browning (meaning too old). There should not be a yeasty smell at the bottom.
When buying canned pineapple, choose pineapple packed in juice. Name-brand pineapple is sweeter, and thus better suited for eating without added sugar. The cheaper store-brand pineapple is fine for baking.
Carving a fresh pineapple
- Twist out the top. The top may be planted if you want a 4' (1.2m) diameter thorny bush that requires a couple years of frost-free weather. You'd also get a tall stalk, covered in lovely blue flowers, that turns into a pineapple.
- Slice away the skin. The best tasting pineapple is right under the surface, so don't cut too deeply.
- Carve out the "eyes". These flower holes contain enzymes that can cause mouth irritation; they digest you a little bit. (Pineapples can get revenge.)
- Slice the pineapple the long way. Make 6 to 12 (8 is easy) wedges with the core along one edge of each wedge.
- Cut the core away from each wedge.
- Chop up the wedges as desired. The bottom part is sweetest and most likely to be spoiled.
|Seasonality tables|Autumn|Winter|Spring|Summer|All year|
Pineapples have their peak season near the end of spring. In some locations, like Hawaii, they are available all year round.
Pineapple is good cooked as well as raw, and can be boiled, grilled, fried, or baked. Grilled pineapple rings become caramelized and are an excellent topping for cheeseburgers. Cooked pineapple goes well in general with cheesy/tomato-sauce meals, such as adding to pizza or to pasta (e.g. spaghetti) to add a sweet tangy flavor.