Pineapple can be one of my favourite fruits. I say can, because you can get many not very delicious pineapples that are sour, hard and leave you with an unpleasant, itchy feeling in your mouth. I usually find that organic or fair-trade pineapples arrive in shops at a riper stage than conventional ones. I also strictly follow two criteria when buying pineapples. First, the color: it should be yellow-orange-brownish (not green!) and have a uniform colour all over. Second, the smell: a ripe pineapple should smell quite sweet and pleasant (but not have an almost fermented, alcoholic, sweet smell – in that case it is probably overripe).
Once I have found my perfect pineapple I like to cut it using a method I learned from a friend living in Thailand. It is both very efficient (you don’t get a lot of waste. A nice, organic pineapple will cost me around 10€) and very beautiful for presentation and easy eating.
Step 1: Start with a large, sharp knife and cut off the top and bottom, just as much as you need. Then cut vertically along the flesh, removing only thin slices. The spiky, unpleasant dots will still remain in the fruit.
Step 2: Now take your pineapple in one hand and cut out the spikes in a triangular shape moving diagonally along the spikes. The fruit actually grows quite intelligently in the sense that all spikes are perfectly diagonally aligned. You don’t need to cut very deep as you can just pull out the ends of the spikes. Again, you want to lose as little flesh as possible.
Step 3: Now you have something pretty looking like this. Cut the pineapple in half and remove the heart. This is the tougher part, which some people find hard to digest. I usually keep it though because I quite like the taste of it.
Finally cut slices along the long part of your pineapple half. If you remove the heart, these segments can easily be separated further using just a fork.