August 4, 2009
I hesitate to post something that seems so simple, but I remember a time when I really wasn’t very confident in my pineapple carving technique. :) So for anyone who can benefit from seeing it laid out for you from someone who has since gained plenty of experience – allow me to present below, my ever so refined technique!
First, holding it by the crown with one hand, tip it onto it’s side and slice about an inch off of the bottom so that it will stand upright. Then tip it again to slice off the crown. If you live in a warm climate or have a greenhouse, you may plant the crown and grow your own! Take it from someone who has feasted on homegrown pineapples, it is worth the wait.
Sit it upright and with one hand stabilizing it, use a very sharp chef’s knife or a serrated bread knife, to slice the rind off as thinly as possible. As you can see, I don’t worry much about going deep enough to remove the “eyes” because I want as much fruit as possible and I don’t really mind them.
Once the rind is removed, slice it in half, then halve those halves.
With a regular yellow pineapple many slice out the woody core but white pineapples are so tender, there’s no need. I always just eat the core, or most of it, because it’s an excellent source of bromelain, a vital digestive enzyme.
Also, it’s worth knowing that pineapple is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, an essential co-factor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. I’ve begun taking a lot of extra anti-oxidants to help provide natural sun-protection in order to cut down on sunscreen use and it’s good to know that my recent affinity for pineapple is very likely the body’s natural balance kicking in with the appropriate message…the rewards of listening.
This lovely specimen was grown by a generous neighbor on his micro-farm just up the road from my house. We did a trade actually. I visited him to get plant starts of the Chinese herb He Shou Wou or fo ti as it is also known, and for payment he asked for a trade in return. So I gave him a box of fresh goji berries , knowing he would want to plant them, and was then given this incredible bonus in addition to the plant stock: white pineapple freshly picked from his organic farm! It’s been so long since I’ve come across these, that I nearly forgot just how good they were.
If you’d like to try a Kona Sugarloaf, as the Hawaiian white pineapple is known, (sometimes called Brazilian White elsewhere), be on the lookout because, though seasonal, they can be found in markets with a good fruit department in mid-summer. Juicy and sweet, and just the barest hint of tang to let you know you’re biting into a divine fruit and that this is a moment to be cherished as absolutely sacred! Seriously. These are good. With flavors of sweet pineapple, ripe pear and maybe a touch of kiwi, (hey, that would be a fantastic smoothie : ), you are sent to a heaven of deliciousness that has to be tasted to be believed. Just another example of why we need to support agricultural diversity – we have no idea what incredible fruits and vegetables are still out there, off the beaten, supermarket path!