Ah, Bikini Bottom, home to our favorite sea sponge and starfish, but also famous for the most sweet, juicy, perfect fruit ever known to mankind. I’m talking, of course, of the pineapple that SpongeBob SquarePants inhabits.
Guarded by a rough, ominous exterior, the pineapple and I used to have a love-hate relationship. I’d be hacking away with a dull machetelike knife trying to get as much fruit out of the thing as possible. It would be sliding around on the counter, juices dripping on the floor, leaving a sticky trail all over every cabinet handle in my kitchen.
But, by George I think I’ve got it. I think I’ve figured out the most efficient way to cut a pineapple in a college residence.
First things first: Cut the pineapple as soon as it’s bought. Pineapples are in season from March until July and picked at peak freshness. Pineapples are not a fruit that you need to let sit on your counter until they’re good and ready. They’re ready now.
Next, make sure you have a sharp serrated knife and a cutting board. If you put a towel under the board, it will stop the board from sliding around while you’re trying to cut the best fruit ever to be bestowed upon us by the gods.
Lay the pineapple down sideways and cut off its green party hat and the less glamorous bottom part so that each end has an even surface. Then stand the pineapple up on one of the freshly cut sides.
The next part takes practice. Guide your knife along the edge of the rind about a half a centimeter in so the skin is taken off but not much fruit is lost. The sharper the knife, the easier this gets. Cut off the skin in strips until your pineapple is completely naked.
Depending on the recipe, you might need to cut out the core. The core is the rough part that’ll give you diarrhea if you eat it. I cut the pineapple in half and then in half again. Next, just cut the core off in a strip. If you’re a fancy drinker, you can freeze the core pieces for cocktail stirrers. Finally, chop the already quartered pineapple into chunks and store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
I’ve bought a fresh pineapple every time I’ve gone grocery shopping spring term, and I’ve narrowed down my three favorite ways to eat it.
No. 1: Grilled. I always ask for grilled pineapple with my birthday dinner. It’s easy to make and classy to serve. Instead of cutting the core out of the pineapple, cut it horizontally into half-inch disks. Sprinkle a half-teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon on each side, then grill each side for 3 to 4 minutes until there are visible grill marks and it’s ready to be served
No. 2: Frozen. There is something so delicious about pineapples and vanilla yogurt. Cut the pineapple into fine pieces, and mix equal parts pineapple and yogurt in a bowl. Pour these contents into Dixie cups. Putting a layer of foil over the cups before inserting the popsicle sticks ensures that the sticks stay straight during the freezing process. They should be ready to go in four hours. Add crushed strawberries for some more deliciousness.
No. 3: Au Naturale. Nothing beats a bowl of fresh, in-season pineapple as nature intended.
Email me if you have any questions or would like me to try something out at [email protected].