Mini-Memoir: Salty Pineapple

Pastry chef David Guas recalls a childhood snack.

By: Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli

“When my father and his brother were boys in Cuba, their mother, my grandmother Lilian, who was from Louisiana, showed them how to peel a pineapple and toss it into the sea. They’d let it float around while they snagged rides on giant sea turtles for an hour or two. When they were tired, they’d carve up the salty pineapple as a snack.

“I remember hearing about this when I was 11 or 12, and the next day we went out with my dad and bought a pineapple. At first we oversalted it, but we eventually got it right and ate the whole thing.

“When we opened Ceiba, I thought a lot about my dad’s stories. I remembered how the salt brought out the acid and sweetness of the pineapple and how we’d always have salt on watermelon and fruit salad when I was growing up. I made salted-pineapple sorbet for the opening. Now I do a fruit sorbet with Maldon salt at three of the restaurants. At Ceiba, it’s guava-lime; at Acadiana, apricot-mango; and at DC Coast, pineapple-yogurt sorbet.

“My son, Kemp, loves all of them. We’re going to the beach in a couple of weeks. Maybe we’ll try that pineapple in the sea.”

David Guas, pastry chef, Ceiba, DC Coast, TenPenh, Acadiana