The Culinary Vegetable Institute, Milan, OH
Don’t judge a book by its cover— or a pineapple by its prickly skin. Chef Jamie Simpson creates a pineapple soda based on a recipe from one of his cooks, whose Puerto Rican grandmother used to make the drink on her back porch. Fortunately, this recipe is home kitchen–friendly, no tropical island required. The bubbles arise when the yeast of the peels and leaves consumes the sugars in the water, creating a natural, irresistible carbonated beverage.
- 1 gallon distilled water
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- Peel of 1 whole pineapple
- 2 pineapple leaves
In a 6-quart pot, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Allow the water to cool until it has reached body temperature (around 95°F). Pour the water into a sterile jar or glass container and gently place the raw pineapple peels and leaves into the container. Cover with coffee filters and secure with a rubber band and do not seal the container. (The yeast from the leaves and skin will consume the sugars in the water and ferment, producing carbon dioxide.)
Allow the tea to ferment for about 1 week until you see very little activity in the water in terms of gas production. Strain and transfer to a sealed container like a swing-top bottle or mason jar with new lids. Store for 1 day at room temperature and then transfer to a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Degas the jars weekly to release excess gas buildup. Be careful when handling— always open over a sink!
From Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food by The James Beard Foundation/Rizzoli Publishing.
1 gallon soda