Friday, August 1, 2008

Mexican Pineapple Vinegar

The choice is yours: make your own homemade Mexican Pineapple Vinegar or just keep throwing away pineapple peels like a fool.

After butchering my mom's latest pineapple crop, shipped direct from her backyard in Delray Beach, FL, I recalled a use for pineapple peels in the counterculture foodie instant classic Wild Fermentation. Like all of the author's recipes, this is ridiculously simple, surprisingly productive, and yields a free, healthful, flavorful and homemade food almost out of thin air.

Looking back on all the pineapples whose rinds I've simply discarded, I now see lost opportunities for bottles and bottles of this miraculous liquid. All you do is soak cut up hunks of pineapple peel in sugar water, and wait. That's it. The result is a compelling yellow liquor with the flavor of the fruit and the bite of vinegar. Besides tasting I have yet to use it, but I'm thinking it will serve as a secret weapon in my next salsa, guacamole, or gazpacho. Other suggestions?


Recipe: Pineapple Vinegar
From Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz

1/4 cup sugar
Peel of 1 pineapple
cheesecloth (or old T-shirt)
glass jar

Note: Unless it's coming from your mom's backyard, you probably want to go organic here. You want pineapple vinegar, not pineapple-doused-in-poison-and-food-grade-petroleum vinegar.

1. In a jar or bowl, dissolve the sugar in 1 quart of water. Coarsely chop and add the pineapple peel. Cover with cheesecloth to keep flies out, and leave to ferment at room temperature.

2. When you notice the liquid darkening, after about 1 week, strain out the pineapple peels and discard. (compost!)

3. Ferment the liquid 2 to 3 weeks more, stirring or agitating periodically, and your pineapple vinegar is ready.

Another Note: I left the peels in for about three weeks and never "agitated" and it worked just fine.

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Debs said...

I was just eying the fruit peel vinegar recipe in Wild Fermentation a few days ago! I'm thinking of trying it with peach peels this summer, next time I make a pie. Pineapple sounds great, if I can find organic pineapple.

Food Is Love

Unknown said...

Let me know how it goes! In fact, care to guest post once you do? Just e-mail me a pic, blurb and recipe whenever you get around to it.

Trevor said...

Wild fermentation has become my bible. Looks great.

EMELINA said...

we call it Tepache and it is used to make a pineapple liquor as great to find it in your site...i love it...i love the idea of the vinager for salads...great week! love your site!

EMELINA said...

My understanding is that the liquor is made the same way as the way you state the vinager to be TEPACHE and check it out...i never had heard of pineapple vinager before until i saw your site and when i read the receipe i said...ah! that is TEPACHE!!! great week to you! stay in touch...thanks

Anonymous said...

There is a recipe for this, called
"Vinagre", in the latin foods cookbook "Daisy Cooks", by Daisy Martinez. In it, she also gives several fabulous recipes to use it in. This cookbook is one of my absolute favorites and has many great recipes for unusual fruits and vegetables.

Anonymous said...

i'm trying apple peels and will report in after the result.

Anonymous said...

I've been making raspberry vinegar for years and thought I would try pineapple vinegar. Question. When I made it ( one week ago) the friut float to the top and now the fruit that is exposed to air has mold on it. What should I do?

Unknown said...


Hmm. That hasn't happened to me before, but my suggestion is to remove the moldy fruit and then weight the rest of it (like with a plate and a jar full of water on top, or whatever fits) to keep it submerged and mold-free.

Failing that, you can e-mail Sandorkraut himself at

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

the apple peel vinegar worked...although in the future I think it would be much richer if it included a mashed apple or two.

Unknown said...


Good to know as my first batch is starting to "work." I'll throw a mashed one in on your recommendation.

Anonymous said...

i used pineapple vinegar to flavor cheesecake - it is amazing!

Anonymous said...

I made pineapple vinegar in the summer. Its been sitting in jars for months and I still can't figure out what I'm going to use it for....

abovegroundpool said...

I just made this, too, out of Wild Fermentation. Online trying to figure out how I'm going to use the vinegar. Suggestions for (vegan) uses are welcome!

Aaron Kagan said...

Guacamole, salsa, gazpacho, chili...

Anything that's already on the acidic side and just needs a little fruity boost.

Barbara said...

Pineapple vinegar is lovely as a dressing ingredient for finely shredded purple cabbage or for a salad of beets and rice. Mix the vinegar with a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce. Toss with the cabbage or beets and rice, and top with fresh cilantro. Delicious!

blisx said...

You can make a mexican drink called Tepache. Fill one quarter of the glass with the vinegar and then fill the glass with water. Add sugar to taste and serve with ice. It's a very refreshing drink that my grandmother makes each time we visit mexico.

Shhhhh said...

Aren't you supposed to boil the water first to sterilize before the fermentation process to avoid contamination with other germs that may cause those molds and other growths? Just asking.... other procedures say so.

Can anyone please clarify that? Do you guys mix stuffs without the boiling?


Aaron Kagan said...

Re: boiling. I never have and it's been fine, but I'm sure it wouldn't hurt either. Let me know how it goes!

que_rrico said...

I was looking for the recipe for pineapple vinegar because my ex-mother-in-law used to make it and then pickle her fresh jalapeños with carrots, onion, a clove of garlic, whole black pepper, a couple bay leaves and some epazote in it. They are still the best pickled jalapeños I've ever had.

Firefly said...

This sounds delicious! So, I started the's 3 weeks now & I have this white covering ontop of my pineapple vinegar. I was adjitating the mix religously, but just let it sit this past week. Is this normal? Is this the mother? Many thanks!

Aaron Kagan said...


Does it look like mold? If so something might have gone awry. I recommend looking in the book Wild Fermentation, the new bible for this kind of thing. I think you can even ask questions of the author through the website:

Let me know since I haven't had that happen but want to know what to do if it does.

Firefly said...

Ok, I'd like to send a photo of what the pineapple vinegar project looks like now...4 weeks into the project. The smaller container has red onion in it, the larger container is vinegar alone. My main question is...what it the stuff on top? Is it the mother? Your help is greatly appreciated.

Unknown said...

Pineapple vinegar is also great as a marinade for meats, pretty much any kind of meat. It doesn't take much vinegar and don't marinate to long or it can turn your meat to mush. mix the vinegar, some salt, oregano and fresh finely chopped or pressed garlic. put in a ziploc and cover with vinegar marinade and let marinate an hour or two. cook your meat how you want but grilling turns out great.

Ann Duncan said...

Mold? Not sure what kind of mold you mean, I've got several batches of this going and they've all started a white filmy something on top that seems mold-ish. But I'm guessing it's ok. It's not 'furry', and it's as strong but not bad smell. Smells like something fermenting...hmmm :)

My plan is to use the pineapple vinegar when I make Cortido (as per Sally Fallon's cortido recipe in Nourishing Traditions.


Courtney said...

This is an old post, but I will comment anyway. My brew sat for only a few days. I put whey in it as mentioned in Nourishing Traditions and didn't use any sugar. It brewed for about 3 or 4 days and started to get VERY bubbly and got an alcohol smell so I strained and put it in bottles in the fridge. Now it's been in my fridge for a few weeks and I don't know what to do with it. I marinated some stew meat with it with great results for tenderizing, but it gave an off taste. It tastes bland with hints of pineapple and alcohol (beerish?). It's still very bubbly in my fridge so I know it's alive, but is it good? How do I get rid of the alcohol taste/smell? Ferment longer? I just followed the directions in NT with confusing results so I started digging around on the web and found this website. It appears that every other recipe I have looked at has sugar in it. I'm considering boiling it (to burn off alcohol, which will kill the live bacterias too :( and adding sugar and let sit a little bit more and see what happens. Or just throw it out, which would be a bummer too. Anyone have any thoughts before I trash this batch?

Jenn said...

Thanks for this! I had tried before to make pineapple vinegar and failed but your instructions worked perfectly. So far, I've used it to make sweet and sour chicken, but am thinking a salad dressing will be next.

Michele said...

Patience ! And, do your research. You will soon learn the thread of knowledge behind traditional food preparation and also, keep on experimenting, don't wait for one batch of something to be 'finished' before starting another, perhaps slightly differently, to compare results. Keep notes, daily. Don't forget, temperature during the fermentation process affects the time required to get your desired results. Use your thinking cap / imagination. Yay! Have fun and share your products and the processes with everyone you can.
Shalom !

Anonymous said...

I was inspired to make pineapple vinegar after a Mexican Culinary adventure and a visit to Diana Kennedy's kitchen. She has bottles of pineapple vinegar of various ages stacked along her kitchen window sill. Her recipes calls for piloncillo a dark mexican sugar with a strong molasses overtone. According to Diane, after leaving to ferment in a sunny window for up to six weeks, the white film that accrues on top is what is called a "mother of vinegar". You can use this for future fermentations without throwing in the pineapple. This is my first try, and only two weeks into the process. I can tell you that this vinegar is wonderful in any Mexican recipe...mole, adobo, salsa, etc.

Anonymous said...

I too have been making pineapple vinegar. First go around I boiled the water and then basicly cooked and rotted the pineapple. It smelled like rotting food so I tossed and started over. I'm 2weeks in and so far it has started to smell like vinager.

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larkeeler said...

Just found this site while trying to figure out how to make vinegar AND if I want to. I am not much of a cook, but do make my own salad dressing and hope to get a good garden yield this year to do some pickling and canning. I eat quite a bit of pineapple and all though I compost, I think I may get more for my money this way. My question is: What would I use pineapple vinegar for exactly? Could I try substituting it for ACV in recipes or should I only use it in recipes that call for it specifically?

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afimihair said...

Hi Emelina. Have you used or know of anyone who uses (tibicos or water kefir grains to ferment their Tepache?
I know people use natural means, beer, or even alcohol free beer to aid the fermentation. I would like to know if an actual culture is used by anyone you know. Thanks

afimihair said...

Hi Emelina. Have you used or know of anyone who uses (tibicos or water kefir grains to ferment their Tepache?
I know people use natural means, beer, or even alcohol free beer to aid the fermentation. I would like to know if an actual culture is used by anyone you know. Thanks

Unknown said...

Use the vinegar to make salad dressing or anything that you would use apple cider vinegar for. If you want to go zero waste, you can replant the top to get your very own pineapple plant (it take two years before you get a new pineapple). If you have a water kefir grain source, you can make tibicos or probioic natural pineapple soda. The last being my favorite use of a sweet ripe pineapple.

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