You can find pineapples in the market year round, but their true season runs from March through July — which means you should be gorging yourself on as much of this sweet-tangy fruit as you possibly can over the next few weeks. Here’s everything you need to know to finish pineapple season strong.
How to select
Pineapples don’t ripen once they’ve been picked, so be sure to select a good one! Look for fruit that’s heavy and firm, with dark green leaves. Brown spots, soft indentations and yellowed or limp leaves all indicate fruit that’s past its prime.
How to store
If you’re not eating your pineapple the day you buy it, you can store it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Once you slice it, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for another 2-3 days.
How to cut
First and foremost, there’s no reason not to buy whole pineapples at the market. Sure, those pre-sliced, packaged portions of pineapple look so appealing in the grab-and-go cold case. But just how long have they been sitting there? And how ripe was that pineapple to begin with? If you can’t answer those questions, pick up a whole pineapple and walk confidently out of the store because yes!, you CAN cut your own pineapple. (Don’t forget to pay for it though.)
Using a chef’s knife, slice off the top and bottom of the pineapple. Sit it upright and slice off the pineapple’s skin in strips, being careful not to remove too much fruit along with it. Next, take a paring knife or the tip of a vegetable peeler and remove any eyes from the fruit (those hard, brown holes). If there are a lot of eyes, it’s faster to cut them in groups along diagonal lines. Just identify the lines, then make diagonal incisions on either side of the eyes to remove a row of them at a time. You can see that demonstrated here (skip ahead to 1:10 if you’re in a hurry):
At this point, you can either slice the pineapple into rings, or core it and cut into chunks. To do the former, lay the pineapple down, slice it into rings and then use your paring knife to remove the cores from each ring (if you want). To do the latter, use a chef’s knife to slice the pineapple lengthwise down the middle to form two halves, then slice each half lengthwise down the middle to form quarters. Stand each quarter up on an end and slice down the inside to remove the core. Now you can cut each quarter into chunks.
If you have a pineapple tool, you can core and slice the pineapple much more quickly — just slice off the top, insert the tool and twist.
A few pineapple recipes
- Pineapple, Kumquat and Ginger Crisp with Coconut Topping
- Halibut Steamed in Banana Leaves with Orange-Pineapple Relish
- Pineapple Orange Ginger Sorbet
- Pineapple Upside Down Muffins
- Spring Fever
How do you like to eat pineapples? And if you cut them yourself, do you have any tips?