If you’d like some Advanced Fruit Preparation, here’s how to buy and prepare a whole pineapple! Of course, you can get it canned, or fresh in chunks or rings from the grocery store, but the fresher the better and fresh pineapple is really quite amazing. Just got back from Hawaii, where the pineapple is incredible.
Selecting your pineapple: Unlike some fruits, a pineapple will not ripen once it’s picked. So once you buy it, eat it soon. Look for a pineapple with fresh-looking, compact leaves - don’t worry too much about the color, but you don’t want one that looks dry or wrinkly or old. The bottom should yield to medium-ish pressure, but the big thing is that it should smell sweetly pineapplish, not fermented. It should feel heavy for its size, kind of like a lemon. It should definately have no soft spots.
Preparing your pineapple: Take a sturdy, sharp knife. Cut off the top and the bottom (if you’re feeling wacky, you can try growing the top into a whole new pineapple plant! It only takes something like a year and a half to grow one lousy pineapple out of it!) Now that the pineapple has a flat base, start slicing off the skin in a downward motion, following the curve of the fruit. The idea is to take off the hard outside without taking off all the good pineapple, of course. Be sure that you slice far enough in to take out the eyes, which are the hard and woody bits that go “in” to the fruit. If you miss some, you can dig them out with your knife or the “dig-the-eye-part” of a potato peeler.
Now you’re left with a yellow cylinder of pineapple. This still isn’t all good to eat! There’s a fibrous core in the middle. There’s such a thing as a pineapple corer that makes it easy to take out, but if you don’t have one, you can just slice your pineapple away from the core. I’ve done it like you do an apple - quarter the pineapple and then cut off the “tips” off each quarter.
If you’re interested in the juice, do all of this on a platter or in a bowl or something to catch it - don’t forget to squeeze the juice out of the hard bits you cut off, either. Enjoy your fresh pineapple!
Or, um, just buy it already cut up for you. There’s no shame in that But don’t feel unneccessarily intimidated by the whole fruit! It’s really not that hard to deal with, it just looks intimidating.
Now artichokes, can’t help you there.