Pineapple chow is a healthy refreshing afternoon snack enjoyed in T&T.
It is made with pineapple chunks, chadon beni, salt and pepper.
Ingredients like lime juice, garlic and other fresh seasonings are also common additions.
What is chow
Trini chow is a healthy, refreshing snack made with half ripe to ripe fruit or vegetable pieces, chopped chadon beni leaves, fresh pepper and salt. The salt draws out the natural juices of the pieces and these juices mixed with the seasonings further marinate the fruit/vegetable.
Chow is a popular street snack in Trinidad and Tobago and it is best enjoyed on a hot day, especially at the beach. Mango, pineapple, hog plum, pommecythere (or golden apple) and cucumber chow are the most popular types.
What are common pineapple chow ingredients
Pineapple chow ingredients usually include:
- fresh pineapple
- fresh chadon beni leaves
- garlic (optional)
- lime juice (optional)
- cilantro, chive, thyme, and other fresh seasoning (optional)
- other fruits and vegetables (optional)
I highly recommend using a fresh ripe pineapple since it gives a wonderful contrast. The sweetness of the pineapple chunks alongside the bitterness of the pepper; the saltiness; the sourness of the lime juice; and the sharpness of the chadon beni and garlic – these flavors make for one mouth watering after lunch snack. Yum!
If you can’t find chadon beni leaves, cilantro leaves are a great but milder substitute.
As for pepper, scotch bonnet and pimento peppers are most often used. But, you can use whatever you have on hand. Pepper sauce and paprika are good substitutes when you are in a pinch.
I don’t often add garlic but it is a pretty common pineapple chow ingredient. A small clove is enough to add the garlic flavor without the garlic breath.
The lime juice gives the chow a citrusy, slightly sour flavor. You can eliminate it if your pineapple is not too sweet or ripe. Also, you can use any other citrus you have on hand like lemon or orange juice.
Feel free to toss in other fruits into your pineapple chow though, as you add more ingredients, your recipe will morph into a fruit salad.
By the way, if you are interested in an exotic fruit salads, check out this tropical fruit salad with dragon fruit. It has pineapple in it alongside other wonderful, tasty fruits.
How to make pineapple chow
Step 1: Peel the pineapple, removing the head, skin and ‘eyes’ of the fruit. You can remove the core if you like or add it in to increase the fiber content of the chow. Cut the pineapple into small bite sized pieces.
Step 2: Wash and cut the pepper. Remove the seeds and white pith. Grind the pepper, peeled garlic and washed chadon beni leaves together. You can also finely or coarsely chop the ingredients.
Step 3: Add the garlic, pepper and salt to the pineapple. Squeeze the lime juice over the ingredients and toss to coat the fruit pieces with the seasoning. Add any additional ingredients if you desire at this point. Taste test and adjust the salt and pepper levels.
Step 4: Next, cover the chow and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and marinate.
More fresh recipes
Pineapple chow recipe
Simple pineapple chow recipe
- 2 cups fresh pineapple
- 10 fresh chadon beni leaves
- 1 pepper (pimento or ½ scotch bonnet)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic (optional)
- 1 tsp lime juice (optional)
- Peel pineapple. Cut into bite-sized chunks.
- Wash chadon beni leaves.
- Wash and peel garlic.
- Wash and cut pepper in half. Remove the seeds and white pith.
- Grind or blend the chadon beni, garlic and pepper.
- Add the blended ingredients and salt to the pineapple.
- Add lime juice.
- Toss to mix.
- Taste test and adjust salt and pepper levels.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Serve cold.