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Pineapple Pulling Is the Internet’s Newest Viral Fixation

This “food hack” is much harder than it looks

Leon Neal/Getty
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All around the world, people’s minds are being blown to pieces by a video showing a hand plucking perfect little nuggets of fruit straight from a whole pineapple — and now fruit-lovers are attempting to replicate this same feat, to varying degrees of success.

Pineapple pulling mania started last week when a video from Tik Tok got a boost on Twitter from a fellow named Dennis Naghizadeh:

This clip now has now been viewed more than 18 million times. (See an update at the bottom of this post about the variety of pineapple that is likely being used in this video.) The tweet has also been shared over a hundred thousand times, prompting Naghizadeh to jokingly refer to himself as “the Pineapple King of Twitter.” Some of the internet’s most prominent food experts — including the Food Lab’s J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Good Food host Evan Kleinman, and Sporkful mastermind Dan Pashman — all expressed their shock and amazement at this nifty pineapple-pulling trick. And Game of Thrones star Lena Headey was so smitten with the pineapple video that she decided to steal the clip and share it with her 1.8 million Instagram followers on Sunday.

As it turns out, another pineapple-pulling demonstration surfaced on Tik Tok last week that predates the one shared by Cersei Lannister and thousands of other people:

These two videos have inspired a number of copycats, many of which show unsuccessful attempts to pull the flesh from the fruit:

And, of course, some jokesters also poked fun at the trend over the weekend:

Lifehacker’s Claire Lower attempted the pineapple pull last week, and did not have much luck at first. But the intrepid food-hacker writes: “I decided to try my pineapple again, and managed — after gently prodding with my thumb in several spots before really digging in —to get a small chunk.” Lower also notes that it’s “a messy way to eat this juicy fruit” that’s also “not great for sharing.” Some other food hackers suggest that the pineapple needs to be super ripe for the trick to work and it helps to bang it on a hard surface before slicing. According to the pineapple-pulling experts out there, a small Japanese “snack pine” is also apparently the best fruit for this maneuver, since its flesh is super soft.

Like many viral food tricks that are shared on social media — cheese stretching, piñata cake slicing, etc. — pineapple pulling is performative, a little silly, and a lot harder than it looks.

UPDATE, 3/18: A reader named Bob writes in with a plausible theory: The pineapple in these videos is actually Tainung No. 4, a particularly soft variety of the fruit that grows in Taiwan and is known as the “Easy Peeler.” Here’s a description of this fruit, adapted from a guide by the Taiwan Council of Agriculture:

Commonly known as the “Cherimoya Pineapple.” It is also known as the “Easy Peeler” because it can be eaten by cutting the pineapple in half or into quarters, then pulling apart the fruitlets one by one, without having to peel. The plant is small and its leaves are spiny. The fruit is of cylindrical shape, except that fruits produced in early spring are usually pyramid- or cone-shaped. Tainung No. 4 has bulging fruitlets. The flesh is dense, with little fiber, and very fragrant. It is not very juicy.

Reader Bob notes that he “lived in Taiwan for a year and a half back in 1987 to 1989 and ate many of these wonderful pineapples.” Apparently, the fruit is not exported. So if you want to film your own viral pineapple video, you might consider planning a trip to Taiwan and purchasing some Easy Peelers.

@denzibenzi [Twitter]
This Viral Pineapple Hack Has Some Issues [Lifehacker]