Never again must the thorny hide of the pineapple be relegated straight to the trash can or compost bin. You can make delicious stuff with it, like a fizzy, fermented Mexican beverage called tepache and a spicy-fruity condiment called pineapple vinagre.
Tepache is particularly common along the central west coast of Mexico and in Mexico City, says Eat Nopal, who describes his homemade batch as lightly fizzy like a spritzer, and refreshing, with hints of alcohol, pineapple, and woodsy flavors. It makes an exotic drink all on its own or a good cocktail mixer. Here’s the recipe he uses. Where the recipe says to let the mixture “simmer” for 48 hours, it means let it steep. Eat Nopal adds no ale and lets it steep for 72 hours; it will ferment without a boost, and the carbonation mostly occurs in the last 24 hours. He also says that all the English-language recipes for tepache he’s seen use the whole pineapple, but Mexican recipes tend to use only the rind, which is what he does; his tastes like the tepache he drank in Mexico.
Pineapple vinagre is a condiment made by boiling pineapple rinds to extract their flavor, then combining the boiling liquid with garlic, habanero chiles, herbs, and spices. It’s used for making ceviche, and for sprinkling on kebabs, beans, etc., says oakjoan.