Sep 16 2008 - Aug 11 2013

Fruit Cutting

Today we did fruits, and some portioning.

Peel with the shape of the fruit, try to only peel the skin off, leaving as much of the fruit as possible. Using a thinner knife will get a better more round cut, use a utility knife or a paring knife, when the fruit is small enough to warrant using a paring knife.

Cantaloupe and honeydew have seeds in the centre, they need to be cut in half after peeling and have the seeds spooned out.

Papaya seeds are good for tenderizing meats and have a peppery taste to them.

For watermelon start by cutting it in half. Don't do this by cutting straight through it with a chef knife, instead take the chef knife and stick it in the middle, then proceed to cut downwards, cutting one half of the melon in half, and then stick the knife back in your first cut to finish cutting in half. This is the safest way of doing it.

When cutting anything, fruit or not, it's always best to flatten the bottom before cutting, just a little slice will do. This makes sure what you are cutting is nice and level, and will not slip on you as easily; it's a lot safer.

For pineapples you need to take out the divets that are left when skinning the pineapple. This is can be done with a utility knife or paring knife, or to save on product a melon baller would work as well.

Mangoes have their seed slightly in the centre, it is long and narrow. You need to cut it in half where the seed will be, and then cut it out lengthwise, removing the whole seed from the mango. You can tell it's the seed as it will be very hard compared to the rest of the fruit.

For portioning I find it easier to use an electronic scale, as it is more accurate than an olden style scale. You should zero it before measuring, it's easy to put the plate on the scale, or whatever your weighing on, then zeroing it, so no subtractions required. It's important to be precise and consistent so that everyone gets the same portion, at the right size. It's important everyone gets the same portion because everyone should have the same experience, and that means everyone gets the same sized meals, and it's always the same size.

For strawberries it's best not to cut them until a few hours before serving, as they tend to go bad rather quickly. Instead of cutting the end off, it's best to just to cut around the green so you save as much as the product as possible. If you can avoid cutting the green off, as it will preserve a lot better that way.

For kiwis cut both ends off before peeling, then take a paring knife and cut the seed out, which would be hard, it's at the end of the kiwi with the most seeds.

For lemon wedges cut the stem end off and trim the back end. Cut lemon in half, quarter the half pieces, take membrane and seeds off.

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