Sarah A. Torgeson
Each week, we rummage through the dark corners of our kitchen drawers to bring you an enigmatic item. We ask you to guess what it is in our weekly From the From the Back of the Drawer puzzle. To enter this week’s puzzle, visit this page. To read more descriptions of past items, visit this page. And, don’t forget to donate your odd items to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.
The uses of a fresh pineapple in summer cocktails are endless. However, slicing a pineapple, with its tough, prickly skin and odd shape, can be a daunting task. Even with a good knife and much practice, removing most of the fruit requires patience, and producing the perfect rings found in cans of syrup-soaked pineapple seems impossible. Pineapple corers, however, quickly and efficiently remove the bulk of a pineapple’s fruit in less than two minutes—and they produce beautiful, uniform pineapple rings.
To use a pineapple corer, cut off the crown of a pineapple. Press the corer into the center of the fruit and, grasping the handle, slowly rotate. Continue to rotate the corer, taking care not to slice through the bottom of the pineapple. Pull on the handle, wiggling slightly, to remove the column of fruit from the shell.
Looking for spirited uses for the fruits of your labor? Check out these cocktails recipes from last year’s The State of the Art, MOTAC’s annual pre-Tales of the Cocktail event. Tiffany Soles’ cocktail, ‘One Particular Harbor’, calls for pineapple puree, and Geoffrey Winslow and Steve Yamada’s ‘Tommy Carbone’ features homemade pineapple shrub.
If you’re feeling particularly tropical, consider serving your favorite tiki-drink in the hollowed-out pineapple. After coring the pineapple, drain and save the remaining juice. There will still be a thin column of fruit left inside the pineapple—simply leave it as is, or remove the extra fruit by cutting around the bottom of the column with a knife.
Our rating: Consider adding this tool to your kitchen. It is a quick way to core and slice a notoriously-intimidating fruit.
Design: Simple tool with three basic components: a round, serrated blade sits at the base of a stainless-steel shaft, topped with a handle.
Originality: This is a typical example of a pineapple corer, which can be purchased from many different companies.
Practicality: A true time-saver for anyone who loves fresh pineapple.