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A woman (me) from the chest up, holding a pineapple with fruit pieces to make a face, she is sipping from a straw inserted into the pineapple
Taste & Sip, Travel

How to Carve and Decorate a Pineapple in Cancun

A beachside lesson in putting a happy face on a pineapple–and filling it with a frozen, fruity drink

With a sharp knife and a few random pieces of fruit, you can transform an everyday pineapple into a “glass” for your favorite tropical beverage. My group of travel writers learned how during a recent media trip to Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun. 

A pineapple with fruit pieces to form a face
Chef Oliver sets a high bar with his beautifully decorated pineapple.

On this particular morning, we took our places at a canopied table near the outdoor swimming pool. In front of us were fresh pineapples, cutting boards and very, very sharp big knives. Chef Oliver demonstrated each step, and we followed along with our own pineapples and knives.

A row of pineapples on metal trays, the top only of one pineapple in front
The beginning of our pineapple-carving session.

1. Cut a small slice off the bottom, just enough to create a sturdy, even base, so your pineapple stands upright. My knife easily cut through in a single sweep. Did I mention the knives were very sharp and very big?

2. Slice off the top, about 2 inches from the crown of leaves. 

A pineapple lays on its side, the bottom has been cut off
The pineapple is cut into three pieces. Discard the bottom.

3. Take the big piece and cut deeply around the flesh of the pineapple about a half-inch from the outer skin. The idea is to make a cylinder. Do not cut through the bottom of the pineapple or your drink will leak.

A big knife stands upright into a pineapple with its top cut off
Cut around the perimeter of the flesh.

4. To hollow out the pineapple, cut diagonally from the center of the cylinder to its edge. You’ll have a wedge-like shape. Lift it out. Repeat on the other side. (You might have to do this several times.)

A knife blade cutting into the flesh of a pineapple that has its top sheared off
Diagonal cuts will easily hollow out the pineapple.

5. Move on to the small piece of your pineapple, the one with the crown. Cut a triangular-shaped piece large enough to pour your beverage into the “glass.” Secure the top with toothpicks.

A hollowed-out pineapple has a triangular opening for a straw
The opening goes at the back of the pineapple; the face is on the other side.

6. Now comes the creative part–making a face on your pineapple. There are many ways to create facial features from cuts of fruit. We made eyes by layering a ball of cantaloupe over a slice of lime. We also cut ears, nose and mouth from the leftover pieces of flesh we’d cut out earlier. You can also garnish with oranges, cherries, blueberries, flowers or any other flora. One of our group made “hair” with leaves she picked from nearby bushes. 

Our pineapple “glasses” were ready to be filled. Chef Oliver carefully measured ingredients into a blender: 3 ounces of brandy, 3 ounces of rum, and 3 ounces of creme de cassis, “a little” strawberry liqueur and “some” grenadine. He counted to three as he added coconut creme. Then he filled the blender with ice and turned it on. 

An icy beverage is being poured from a pitcher into a hollowed-out pineapple
Pour your preferred beverage into the opening.

When he saw the amount of beverage was not enough to fill our pineapple “glasses,” he simply added “more” of everything. The recipe may have been a bit unscientific, but it was a delicious fruity, frozen concoction. Voila! Time to imbibe.

A woman (me) sipping from a straw inserted in the back of a pineapple, fruit pieces make a face on the front
Drink up!

Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun is an all-inclusive getaway on the Caribbean Sea in the city’s vibrant Hotel Zone. Recently renovated, the resort features 500 beautifully appointed guest rooms, a dozen dining options, dual-level outdoor swimming pool, stunning beach, lush gardens and nightly entertainment. 

Aerial view of a curvy swimming pool, palm trees and clubhouse, two tall white buildings in the back
Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun All-Inclusive

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