The first step to preparing deliciously sweet, fresh pineapple is selecting the best fruit! Nothing is worse than getting a pineapple that lacks the juicy sweetness it’s known for… unless it is cutting open an overripe fruit with bad spots! To make sure you get the best, you simply need to grasp an inner leaf from the top bunch and gently pull. If it pretty much falls right out then you can bet the pineapple is overripe. If it takes a lot of pressure to pull out than it is not ripe enough! What you want it to feel a gentle resistance before the leaf pulls out. That pineapple is going to be a perfect, and best eaten within a day or two.
Now let’s get to the cutting. Using a sharp butcher knife, lop of the top about an inch under the leaves and the bottom, about an inch from the base. Stand up the pineapple again and shave off the hard outside with your knife. You want to remove most of it without wasting too much of the soft, yellow fruit just underneath that tough exterior. If you try and remove every last speck of the brown outside, you will end up wasting a lot of the juicy meat of the fruit. So the bottom line is, don’t cut too deeply when you do the “peeling” – you can slice off any particularly deep parts of the outside individually afterward.
Leave your pineapple standing on it’s end to cut the fruit away from the core in the middle. The core is a visible circle (about the circumference of a quarter) that runs directly down the middle of the pineapple. Using your butcher knife, cut straight down about 1/2 inch from the edge of the core. Do this on four sides of the core – you should end up with a tall square core at the end (which you can discard) and four, big chunks of pineapple.