Submitted by: Paul Yates

I suppose in some ways we’ve got to be thankful for the vast array and diversity of fresh fruit and vegetables that we have available to us through our supermarkets. I remember when I was a kid it was pretty much apples, bananas and oranges and that was it. Now you can get just about anything.

The downside of course is that it’s all picked under-ripe and airfreighted to the point of consumption and all this means is that the fruit in our supermarkets needs time to ripen. There’s nothing better than a great big juicy pineapple in the fruit bowl to add to the presentation of any fruit serving but so often I’ve cut into my pineapple only to find it woody through to the core and not sweet and juicy how I want it.

Conversely there’s also been many a time for the reason that I’ve just stated that a pineapple will sit in our fruit bowl at home until it starts to attract the flies, and by that time it’s well past its best and you usually find that the base of the fruit is a soggy mess. So when is it the right time to eat a pineapple?

You can tell very easily when the fruit is ripe by plucking one of the leaves that sprout out of the top. If it comes away easily then it is ripe, if however you have to tug and put some effort into it then you are probably best to leave it a few says more.

If it is still slightly less than ripe don’t forget the old trick of putting next to the bananas. Bananas emit ethylene gas and this will help ripen the fruit, despite most reporting this as a tip for ripening an avocado, it does in fact work with any fruit. As always though you just have to be careful to keep an eye on progress, the banana effect can be quite rapid. So that’s it, you now have a ripe fruit but what are you going to do with it?

To really bring out the sugar content and ensure that there’s absolutely no sourness, my favorite way to serve pineapple is to grill it in rings. It tastes great and it’s really easy to do.

Using a chopping board and a knife, peel the exterior skin off the fruit (take extreme care), then place the fruit on the board, turn it on to its side and slice into circles that are about 1 centimetre thick. Next core out the centre of each slice and then you’re almost ready to go so how about grilling it?

This makes a great dessert not just because it’s sweet but also because a charcoal grill with dying embers is the prefect temperature. Just pop the slices on and the grill and sprinkle with a little brown sugar.

With gentle heat the sugar will melt and ooze a wonderful caramelised flavor throughout the fruit as it warms up. Ten minutes each side over gentle heat and you’ll have a wonderful dessert that just needs topping off with a little crme fraiche.

About the Author: Paul Yates has written some of the

best outdoor grill recipes


grilled pineapple rings

and a delicious recipe for

grilled pineapple chicken



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