How do you slice an apple?

Getting to the core of slicing

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Q: I understand that slicing an apple seems like a simple task, but I would like to read about the most efficient way to slice an apple around its core in one of your columns. Also if you wouldn't mind explaining to me the most efficient way to slice a pineapple around its core for my friend Joey, it would be greatly appreciated.

—Thomas Van Dyke, Hoffman Estates

A: An apple corer is always an option but the wedge-like slices left behind can be pretty thick. I'm not sure if my way of slicing an apple is the most efficient but it works.

1. My mood determines how I peel the apple. If I'm at peace with myself and feeling focused, I will use a vegetable peeler (you could, of course, use a very sharp paring knife) to peel around the apple. I do this to see how long a ribbon I can make of the skin. When life is more hectic, I tend to peel the apple from stem end to base fast and furiously.

2. Stand the apple stem-side up. I halve the apple as close to the center as possible so the knife goes through the core. Then I quarter each half.

3. Holding the knife parallel to the thin edge of each quarter, cut off the core. Other sources call for holding each quarter in your palm, round end down, and using a paring knife to scoop out the core section.

4. Place each de-cored quarter on a cutting board and slice, following the shape of the apple as you go.

Coring a pineapple? Here's what you should tell Joey:

First I lay the pineapple on its side. I whack off the leafy stalk, then I cut slice off the head and base of the pineapple. I stand the pineapple upright. Using a sharp knife, I slice the skin off the pineapple in sections, working around the pineapple until all the skin is removed. I use the tip of a sharp knife to scoop out any remaining "eyes." I usually cut the fruit away from the core in great big pieces which I can chunk or slice as needed.

Some sources recommend cutting the pineapple into slices and using a knife to cut out the core in each. Your choice.

Do you have a question about food or drink? E-mail Bill Daley at: Snail mail inquiries should be sent to: Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 60611. Twitter @billdaley.

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