I’ve seen a lot of chefs on TV cutting off a thick chunk of the pineapple’s skin to remove the “eyes.” So wasteful. Those eyes are at least a quarter of an inch deep, there’s a lot of edible flesh between the eyes and, ergo, so much of the luscious flesh gets discarded with the skin.
Filipinos have a technique that is both frugal and creative. It’s not rocket science and does not even require any special tools nor fancy knife skills. Maybe it’s time for celebrity chefs to learn something that culinary schools don’t teach.
Here is my unofficially official sister-in-law (go figure), Laura, skinning and cutting a whole pineapple. Sam took the photos.
First of all, Laura says don’t cut off the leaves. That’s where you’ll hold the fruit to avoid touching the flesh with your bare hands. Very sanitary.
Start cutting off the skin from the top of the fruit to the bottom. Follow the natural curve of the fruit and cut as close to the skin as you can manage.
Turn the fruit around little by little as you cut the skin.
Hold the fruit at a 45-degree angle and make a diagonal slash about three quarters of an inch deep between the eyes. The slash should also be at an angle — like the left or right arm of a letter “V”.
Make another slash on the other side of the eyes, this time cutting toward the opposite direction. In effect, the first and second slashes should meet at the bottom forming a “V”.
The cut “V” with the embedded eyes should now come off easily.
Go to the next row of “eyes”, repeat…
… And keep going until you have all the eyes removed.
Now, you can slice the pineapple into fluted-edged rings or wedges. I like cutting out the core but a lot of this blog’s readers say that the core is totally edible.
Interesting fact about pineapples: Did you know that nature has so arranged the “eyes” of the pineapple in accordance with the Fibonacci sequence—eight in one direction and 13 in the opposite direction?
Recipes with pineapple: