When you pick up a pineapple (Ananas comosus), do you instinctively put it on top of your head? Yeah, me too. I call it the Carmen Miranda Effect, and you are perfectly within your rights to get a little silly with fruit. Here at The FruitGuys, we understand that impulse.
Carmen Miranda was inspired to put fruit on her head by the ladies of Bahia, Brazil, who sold fruit at the market. She took on the colorful Baiana style to great success as a superstar in her home country and a megastar here. In 1945, she was one of the highest-earning women in the U.S. It’s all in her 1995 biographical documentary Bananas Is My Business.
Besides inspiring stylish headgear, the pineapple-Carmen combination can really liven things up. Carmen had sparkle, verve, fun, and samba. Pineapples have tropical flavor, enlivening nutrients, and samba. And samba makes everyone smile.
Fresh pineapple contains enough vitamin C and manganese to beat the band (not to mention high levels of vitamin B6 and thiamin), and it also contains bromelain. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme and valuable anti-inflammatory that helps the body digest proteins. Most of pineapple’s bromelain is concentrated in its inedible stem and semi-edible core—not the tastiest part of the fruit, but try chewing on the core for a little bromelain boost. My daughter calls it pineapple chewing gum.
If you’re a person who has a little trepidation about stepping out on the dance floor wearing a pineapple, worry no more—you can always eat it. There are many ways to cut a pineapple. In addition to the instructions below, you can employ a router-like device sold in kitchen stores that makes pineapple rings; or cut off the top, slice into halves lengthwise, cut one-inch grooves top-to-bottom and across, then slice fruit away from the skin (as you might an avocado) leaving a little boat of pineapple chunks. Whatever method you choose, don’t forget to swing your hips.
How to Cut a Pineapple
- Cut off the crown and the base of the pineapple, then stand it upright on the cutting board.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the peel from top to bottom in strips all the way around the pineapple.
- Any remaining pineapple “eyes” may be removed using the scoop end of a vegetable peeler or by making very small, angled cuts behind each eye with the long edge of the knife.
- After removing the peel, cut the pineapple in half lengthwise. Place each half cut-side-down on the cutting board, and cut in half lengthwise again.
- Carefully slice off the core and discard (or chew on for bromelain boost—see above), cut pineapple flesh into bite-size pieces, and enjoy!