Several years ago, Nathan took a trip with his family to Hawaii, and they visited the Dole Plantation where he learned how to slice and serve a pineapple. He taught me how when he got home, and I’ve been cutting pineapples this way ever since. It’s a method we now refer to as ‘pineapple boats’ since the slices are served on the quartered rind and resemble traditional Polynesian outrigger canoes.
Some green on your pineapple is desirable, but if it’s too green, it’s underripe. If the pineapple is all yellow and very fragrant, it may be overripe and rotting inside. You can tell when a pineapple is ripe enough by sniffing the base. Does it smell like pineapple? If yes, it’s ready to cut and serve. The first step is to twist off the top of the pineapple, which requires only a little force; you can reserve this part for a garnish. Next, with a sharp chef’s knife, quarter the pineapple lengthwise. Stand each quarter on its end and slice off about 1/2” of the core which is white, fibrous and hard to chew. At this point, you can rinse the quartered pineapple pieces in cold water, or let soak in water for a few minutes to reduce the acidity.
Again with a chef’s knife, carefully cut under the pineapple following the curve of the rind to separate the fruit. Once separated with the pineapple still resting on the rind, slice through the fruit to create 1” pieces. Push the pineapple slices out from the center so that they hang over the rind slightly, alternating left and right, and add a cocktail skewer “paddle” to each piece to complete your boat. Place the boats on a platter or cutting board to serve and garnish with the pineapple top (fun fact: the top can be placed in a jar of water to root and you can grow your own pineapple plant!). I placed my boats in a low bowl and filled with water for maximum aloha effect.