Friday, December 13, 2013

Hawaiian Pineapple

Pineapple, oh sweet pineapple!!!  We recently went on a family vacation to Hawaii (blog posts to come soon).  It was my second time in Hawaii.  My husband and I went there for our honeymoon 10 years ago and this trip was to celebrate our family and 10 great years of marriage.  The pineapple has always been one of my most loved foods while on the islands.  It is so sweet and perfect when it comes directly off the farm!

"Gold" pineapples are promoted a lot on Hawaii as a sweeter pineapple.

While on Oahu we visited the Dole Plantation where I learned a few interesting things about pineapples.  I thought they were blog worthy so here it is:

-A soft pineapple, or one that actually smells like pineapple, is over ripe and "rotting".

- The color of the pineapple does not matter (green, yellow, ...)

- It takes about 1.5 - 2 years for a pineapple to grow!!

Baby Pineapple

Still growing...
- Pineapples do not grow on a palm tree (yes - I actually thought this and have found many other people that thought the same)!  They grow off the ground out of a plant.

-  With the right conditions (and a lot of patients) you can start growing a pineapple plant by planting the top part of the pineapple (the green top that people do not usually eat).

- You should buy a pineapple that has the same size "scales" at the bottom and the top.  Smaller scales on the top means it was picked to early.

Prepping a pineapple to eat:

I use these two knives.  You can purchase a core and swirl tool that will cut slices into the pineapple as you turn the tool.  I had one but I personally prefer pineapple chunks instead.

The top knife is one that I purchased at Dole.  It is slightly curved to assist with cutting the fruit from the outer peel.

This side shot shows the slight curve in my pineapple knife.
First, pull off the top of the pineapple by giving it a slight twist.
Of course, it isn't always that easy.  

See the top I pulled off the pineapple?  I also removed some of the leaves from the base.
This top is now ready to start another plant.  Just put the freshly removed tip into a glass of water.  Once the roots start to form you can plant it in the ground.  Of course, there is a lot more to it than this.  You need the right soil conditions and weather (won't grow in Michigan).  And, like I said earlier, it takes nearly 2 years for the pineapples to fully grow and ripen!!
Use the large knife to cut the pineapple into long quarters.

Use a knife to remove the inner edge of the quarters (as seen in the right side of the picture below).  This step is to remove the hard core that is in the center of a pineapple.

Use a knife (I used my pineapple knife) to cut the fruit away from the peel.

This was my first time doing this.  I probably could have cut closer to the peel for more fruit.
Rinse the fruit in clean water to reduce the acidity.

Then cut the fruit into the shapes you would like to serve/eat it.

Arranging the cut fruit on the peel for a decorative way to serve fresh pineapple.
The last step...  Enjoy eating!

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