Fruits of Liberia: Pineapple (and an aside on roads)

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Hooray for pineapple!  Fresh pineapple is one of the best things about living in the tropics.  Benson agrees.  He didn’t get any, because he was exiled from the kitchen for safety (his own and that of the pineapple).

You’ll notice that there’s no crown of leaves on this one:

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Well, there was, but in Liberia it’s usually removed before it’s sold.  I suspect it has to do with being able to carry more fruit without those pesky spiky leaves taking up room and poking through the bag.

Yesterday, I was surprised to see my fruit vendor had pineapple.  Not that there’s a pineapple season, really, since it seems to grow year round, regardless of rain or dry.  We just tend not to get it in Monrovia until a month or so after rainy season is really over.  The reason is rainy season washes out the roads upcountry, where pineapple grows, and it’s really hard to get the fruit to Monrovia.  And by upcountry, I mean about 50 miles away from Monrovia.  If that.  There are some roads around here, in the city, that become impassible when it rains.

So, when I walked up to her table, I saw the pineapple.  Then I smelled it.  One of them was perfect…this one.  Which reminds me of the time in Trinidad and Tobago when I bought pineapple.  The guy had a huge table full (and a truck as well…) and one of them smelled heavenly.  I just couldn’t find it.  The Trini stood there bemused while I picked up and sniffed half of the pineapples.  Finally, he took pity on me and handed me one from the other side of the table.  Found it!

There are lots of detailed explanations out there on how to cut into a pineapple.  In my opinion, the most important part is getting a nice, even cut on the bottom (or top) so the fruit can stand up while you slice down the sides to take off the skin.  IMG_9417IMG_9421

I don’t bother with coring it, unless I plan to dehydrate.  The core still tastes like pineapple, and there’s no reason not to eat it.  If you try to dry it, though, it gets a little too fibrous.  I also don’t usually fiddle with getting out all the eyes.  Too much work, not a lot of benefit.

This one will wind up in oatmeal, as a snack, eaten with grilled cheese, and, if any is left, as upside down cake.

Hooray for pineapple!

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