If you were stranded on an island and you could bring only three things, what would they be?
If one of your chosen items is a knife to split open juicy pineapples (hopefully) growing on the isolated atoll, the internet has news for you. A series of viral “pineapple pulling” videos suggest you don’t need a sharp edge to slice through the tropical plant’s barbed exterior to reach the sweet gold inside. Instead, while you’re secluded and staring out at a miles-long crystal blue sea all around you, you can simply pluck a pineapple straight from the trees and proceed to pull it apart like monkey bread. At least, in theory.
In case this is the first you’ve heard of this so-called “hack,” it involves slicing off the bottom of the pineapple (this part is optional but helps) and then yanking out pieces of the fruit in bite-size chunks. “Pineapple is like a Jenga of pulp,” says YouTuber Patrick Cloud. Pineapple belongs to the Fibonacci fruit family, meaning each ridge visible on the outside corresponds with a “spear” of fruit within.
When my coworkers and I tried the technique for ourselves, we were rendered speechless but for one word: “Why?” Why would anyone do this? Yes, the technique worked, stripping the pineapple piece by piece to leave nothing but the core. But under the fluorescent lights of civilized office decor, it seemed—well—extra. I suppose if you don’t know how to cut pineapple, have at it with your hands. But often the original method is best, despite frantic internet exclamations of “you’re doing it wrong,” and that adage holds true in this case. The ripest part of the pineapple was too soft, making a juicy mess. The greener half broke apart easily into individual segments, but it still made a mess. (Personally, I couldn’t stop thinking about how unsanitary this pineapple grazing might be in a group setting.)
In short, the pineapple pulling method is best reserved for shipwreck situations. Call me old-fashioned, but a knife just works better.
Here’s how to cut pineapple properly.
Step 1: Turn the pineapple on its side and use a knife to cut off both the top and the bottom.
Step 2: Stand up the pineapple and slice off the remaining skin in long strips from top to bottom.
Step 3: Cut the pineapple in half, then quarters lengthwise.
Step 4: Hold the knife at a slant to cut through the core oof each quarter-inch section.
Step 5: Cube it and enjoy!
Now that you’re feeling good about your slicing skills, test them with this pineapple turmeric mezcal recipe or these other hard-to-cut fruits and veggies.