Pineapple- the fruit is great, but don’t toss the peel!
I love pineapple, and enjoy it year-round, adding it to milk kefir smoothies for extra sweetness, and my kids enjoy it as a sweet snack. There are so many uses for this tropical fruit-from baked goods, to grilling it on the BBQ, and adding it to fresh salsas for an extra dimension of flavour. But the possibilities don’t end with the fruit -before you toss the pineapple peel and core in your compost bin, try making the fermented beverage, tepache, instead. It’s easy to make, a great alternative to kombucha, and doesn’t require any cultures to get it started.
What is Tepache?
Tepache is a fermented pineapple drink popular in Mexico. Slightly effervescent, tepache is refreshing and cider-like with a sweet pineapple aftertaste. It is made using water, sugar and pineapple (whole or just the rind). Tepache is a wild ferment- the yeast and bacteria naturally present on the pineapple are responsible for the fermentation process so no additional cultures are needed. It is also a quick ferment (4 days maximum- any longer and it will turn to vinegar).
Tepache is best served very cold, and has become a popular ingredient for cocktails (with rum, tequila, mexican beer…). Try it today, and you’ll want to keep a bottle in the fridge for a refreshing treat on hot summer days!
HOW TO MAKE TEPACHE
Fermentation time: 4 days
- One ripe pineapple
- 8-10 cups of water
- 1 cup sugar (piloncillo, turbinado, brown or Sucanet)
- cinnamon stick and/or whole cloves (optional)
- Wash and dry pineapple. Cut off top and discard
- Remove peel, leaving a little extra fruit on the peel. Cut out core. Reserve fruit to eat later.
- Dissolve sugar in water. Add pineapple peels and core and add more water if necessary to fully cover. Use a fermentation weight to keep peels and core submerged under the sugar water.
- Cover the top of the jar with a coffee filter or clean cloth. Leave at room temperature for 3-4 days. It will become cloudy and develop a harmless white foam that can be skimmed off.
- Strain finished tepache into bottles and refrigerate. It will smell a little musty, but the taste will not be strong.
- For extra fizz, do a second fermentation (closed bottle) for an extra day or 2.
- Tepache is best served cold. Cheers!