How to cut tropical fruits

Cut your tropical fruits safely using the proper techniques.Summer is the perfect time of year to break out tropical fruits. Pineapples and mangos make delicious additions to cooked desserts (which you can make for your online baking courses), fruit salads, cocktails and smoothies. However, both pieces of produce can be tricky to cut. You want to make sure you start off your baking session safely by chopping properly. Take a look at these techniques to protect your fingers and your food:

Pineapples
Fortunately, pineapples look more difficult to cut than they actually are. Their prickly surface and palmy top gives the exterior a rough appearance. However, beneath all those spikes lies a fruit that’s sweet and tangy. Start by turning the pineapple on its side so that the leafy top points to your right or left. Using a chef’s knife, cut the top of the fruit off, removing a chunk of the fruit that’s about half an inch thick. Cut the same amount off the bottom of the pineapple. Then return the fruit to its upright position so you can descale the sides. Run your knife along the skin of the fruit (cutting top to bottom), removing as little of the edible part as possible. This will get rid of the prickly bits, but leave a few eyes. Use a pairing knife to get rid of the remaining eyes.

The next step is to cut away the core from your pineapple. Slice the fruit into long quarters, cutting from top to bottom twice. Finally, remove the center part (or the core) from each quarter. You can further chop your pineapple into small squares or long strips, depending on what you want to do with the fruit.

Mango
This sweet yet pesky fruit has an oblong shape that makes it difficult to cut. The center of a mango has a fibrous texture that you can’t really eat or cut into. Celebrity chef Alton Brown recommends using the following method to safely chop the fruit: Start by using a magic marker to draw a 1-inch circle on each cheek of the mango. The cheek is the fleshy part located on either side of the core. Then peel the mango everywhere except inside the circle.

Grab a thin and very sharp knife and cut a small piece off the bottom of the fruit. This creates a flat surface the mango can rest upon. Hold the two skin-covered patches of the mango and slice downward from the top of the fruit. By cutting top to bottom twice (around the core), you’ll end up with two pieces. Peel the remaining skin off the mango, then chop the cheeks.

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