Gilman Hu read a column about a pineapple-slicing gadget that ran in the May 11 Crave section and wanted to share an “old-fashioned” way to cut the fruit that minimizes waste and produces a decorative centerpiece. He said all you need is “a sharp knife and some patience”:
>> First: Cut off the top of the fruit, as close to the crown as possible without leaving any of the crown behind. Then, cut off the bottom of the fruit, giving yourself a firm base.
>> Second: “Make thin slices from top to bottom, following the curvature of the fruit.” All of the rind should be cut away in this step; only the eyes should remain.
>> Third: “Lay the fruit on its side and make short ‘V’ cuts to remove two or three eyes at a time. … If you follow the eyes this usually takes you on a spiral from the top (of the pineapple) to the bottom.”
Hu said this procedure can be done a couple of days before you need to serve the fruit. Be sure to refrigerate it in an air-tight container.
When ready to serve, stand the fruit upright and slice downward, making eight to 10 wedges (like cutting a pie). Trim off the cores, which can be used in beverages, then cut the slices into 2- to 3-inch chunks. One fruit should produce 24 to 30 pieces.