South African baby pineapple: topping off at 4 inches tall, this cutie is super sweet. It's dense with rich-textured fruit and low in acid. When purchasing, look for a golden color and use the sniff test; when ripe, these are very aromatic. South African baby pineapples are available year-round in major markets. Can't find them? Ask your produce manager to order some.
Baby Hawaiian pineapple: This one hails from the islands of aloha and stands about an inch taller than the South African baby pineapple. A mini-version of the flavorful Sugar Loaf, the baby Hawaiian has a mild sweetness with a slightly crunchy but edible core. The fruit is low in acid. Like the South African variety, it can be found all year at most major markets.
Golden pineapple: This big guy looks like the standard fresh pineapple, but take a bite of its succulent flesh and you'll notice the difference. The fruit is sweeter and more brilliant in color than the common variety. Golden is ready to eat when purchased, so there's no waiting for it to ripen. The core is edible, but it is a tad tougher than the baby varieties.
- Lop off the top and bottom of pineapple. Slice remaining fruit into thin wedges. Nibble around the rind.
- Cut the top and scoop out fruit. Use the hollow shell to serve pineapple salsa or exotic drinks.
- Stand the pineapple on one cut end and slice off the skin in wide strips, from top to bottom.
- To remove the eyes -- those rough brown dots that spiral up the pineapple -- cut diagonally around the fruit, following the pattern of the eyes and making narrow wedge-shaped grooves into the pineapple as you cut away eyes.
- When trimming, cut away as little of the fruit as possible. Slice the fruit away from the core and discard the core.