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A pineapple corer is a kitchen utensil which is designed to simplify the task of coring and slicing pineapples. These tropical fruits may be tasty, but handling them can be a real tussle, especially in high volume, so for cooks who deal with pineapples frequently, a pineapple corer can be an extremely useful kitchen tool. Some kitchen supply stores, especially those which cater to tropically inclined clientele, carry pineapple corers, and they can also be purchased through purveyors of tropical fruit, in many cases.
To use a pineapple corer, the top of a pineapple is cut off, and the corer is inserted into the fruit and then twisted. Depending on design, the pineapple corer may lift out the entire center section of the fruit, or it may cut the fruit into a neat spiral shape which can be tipped out and then sliced vertically to create neat slices of pineapple.
The remains of the pineapple can be used in a variety of ways. Many tropical drinks are classically served in a pineapple, and pineapples can also be used as serving containers for tropical dishes, ranging from pineapple fried rice to Polynesian-style roast pig. If you've got a lot of pineapples, you can use them as biodegradable food containers for a tropically-themed big dinner party; guests will appreciate the novelty, and you will enjoy the easy cleanup.
The removed section of pineapple, of course, can be cut up and used in fruit salad and other dishes. Especially if you plan to dry the pineapple, or to use it in a complex layered dish, the even slices of a pineapple corer which also makes a spiral cut can be very useful. These slices are also, of course, simply more aesthetically pleasing than slices cut by hand, and they minimize contact with the fruit, reducing the risk of transmitting food-borne illness.
The main drawback to a pineapple corer is that it does not always remove all of the flesh from the fruit, since the size is generic. Therefore, you may be forced to carve out the remainder of the flesh yourself, which can be a bit irritating, although less time consuming than peeling a pineapple by hand, in some cases. However, the convenience is worth it in the eyes of some cooks, and most pineapple corers are also quite inexpensive, making them a low-risk investment for the kitchen.
The best pineapple corers are made from metal, especially metal which has been treated to resist corrosion from the acids of the pineapple. Plastic corers will work, but they tend to break down quickly, and you may find that they are not very reliable.
For pineapple to be easily cored, and most of all to taste the best, it is important to buy a ripe pineapple. A test for ripeness that I heard of is to pull a leaf from the middle of the pineapple and if it comes of easily the pineapple should be ripe.