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It can be difficult to know where to begin to cut a pineapple, simply because they are such an intimidating piece of fruit. With their rather unique shape, incredibly hard leaves, and sharp outer layer, it seems like it might be dangerous to cut a pineapple. In truth, they are fairly simple to cut, so long as you break them down properly.
First, it’s important to choose a good pineapple. It will be more difficult, and much less satisfying, to cut a pineapple that’s under-ripe. You want a pineapple to have goldish-brown skin, which is nice and firm. You want to avoid a pineapple whose skin is still green, as this will be unripe. A ripe pineapple will also exude a strong scent of pineapple, while an unripe pineapple will be much more closed off.
Once you have your fruit, you’ll want a good knife to cut a pineapple with. There are different opinions as to which knives work better, but generally you want a knife that is long enough to work the entire pineapple, sharp enough to cut it fairly easily, and preferably somewhat flexible, so that the curve of the pineapple can be followed. Many people find a serrated bread knife to be the best knife with which to cut a pineapple, as they meet all of the above criteria, and the serrations can help get through the rougher parts.
The next step to cut a pineapple is to cut the hard top off. You won’t want the stalk, and some people cut it off separately and then remove the top layer, while others simply cut straight through the top layer, which includes the stalk. You’ll want to cut a pineapple about half inch to an inch down from the stalk, to make sure you get all of the hard part off. It’s easiest to cut a pineapple while it’s laying on its side, and once you’ve remove the top, just spin it and cut the bottom half inch off as well.
Next, turn the pineapple upright again. It should sit flat on the newly created plane from where you cut off the bottom. You’ll be able to see a number of small brown intrusions at the corners of the pineapple. These are sometimes called its eyes, and are useful markers when you’re trying to cut a pineapple well. Start your cut just behind one of the eyes, and cut down the length of the pineapple, turning the knife inward a bit to follow the contour of the pineapple.
That first cut will show an entire row of brown eyes down the length of the pineapple. You’ll then rotate it slightly, and cut a new 45 degree angle, following these newly revealed eyes. Repeat this until you’ve cut off all of the skin of the pineapple. Take as many cuts as you need to do smaller angles, as this way you’ll keep as much fruit as possible. Trying to cut off the skin in only a few slices will result in a great deal of clean fruit being thrown away.