I had read about many uses of pineapple peels, and decided that I wanted to get the most from my pineapples, and not just eat the flesh, but also take advantage of the goodness the skin can offer me.
There are quite a few drink options that you can make with pineapples, most of them originating in South America or the Caribbean, though there are some African versions as well. What nearly all of them have in common is their being fermented. Chicha de Pina, Guarapo de Pina, and Tepache are all different names for essentially the same thing- you take your pineapple peel (and possibly the core as well), mix it with some sugar (ideally piconcillo or jaggery or some other unrefined sugar) and water and maybe some spices like cinnamon, cloves, or ginger, cover it, and let it ferment for a few days via wild yeasts. This should make a delicious, slightly sweet, fizzy fermented drink.
Unfortunately, I think the pineapples I started with were past prime (hence the cheap pricing) and when I tried making this, despite following the instructions to a tee (including pushing down the skins beneath the water a few times a day), mine molded.
So for my second try, I decided to cheat a bit. I also decided to change things up a bit.
An African (Nigerian specifically) drink called zobo is made using pineapple peels and hibiscus flowers (and is generally not fermented), so for my second trial, I decided to use pineapple peels together with hibiscus, and to kickstart the fermentation process with store bought yeast.
I dissolved some jaggery into hot water, added hibiscus flowers, and when they cooled down, added the pineapple peel and some bread yeast, then put it in a mason jar for a day or so.
At that point, I strained it out, refrigerated it, and enjoyed it chilled.
Definitely a nice treat.
I'm not sure what the official name of my drink is, but I guess its somewhere between zobo and tepache- so maybe I'll call it zepache?
Either way, if you buy pineapple, try out making a nice drink with your pineapple rinds. Either boil the rinds, with or without other ingredients, or let them seep in water with sugar and possibly also some added yeast, and play around. Whatever you do- don't throw them out yet!
(Here's a post with 10 things to do with pineapple peels- check it out!)
What do you do when you have pineapple peels? Toss/compost them? Or do something with them?