How to Make Tepache
It's pineapple season until July!
This is Clouds Form Over Land, weekly writing about life at sea and going ashore.
Tepache is a fermented beverage made from the peel and the rind of pineapples.
With a little sugar and cinnamon and a few days’ time, these kitchen scraps turn into a sweet and tangy beverage. Read on for how and why to do this:
Gather a pineapple, cinnamon, and glassware. The remnants of one pineapple typically fill two 32-ounce jars.
Remove the peel from the pineapple. Cutting in spirals like this will reduce waste.
Add the pineapple core and peel to the jar(s), along with 1/2 cup sugar and a stick or tablespoon of cinnamon.
Let rest at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Chill and enjoy!
Warning: the fermentation process will create a slightly alcoholic beverage of 2-4%.
I saw a pineapple in the wild for the first time last April. The fruit sat atop its succulent leaves looking as preposterous as an easter egg nestled into the bushes.
Pineapples take 2-3 years to mature into our fruit salad staple. The plant can grow a few fruits before tiring out, and new crops can be started from the leaves on top of the fruit. In these parts, pineapple tops are often found near trash bins, waiting for someone to replant them. Last summer, we lived on a finca in Panama and saw pineapples emerge to peak ripeness along the path to the house where we stayed. Days or weeks would pass with debate on when to twist the fruit off its base, and the result was much sweeter than the pineapples I was accustomed to eating. All of this combined into a sense of not wanting to waste even a scrap of the fruit. The Mexican beverage tepache takes care of the peels, and a pineapple top can be used as table decor before being replanted indoors.
For more on pineapple farming at scale:
And to make another yourself:
Use the scraps of something you would typically discard.
Research what plants are ripening in your area this spring.
Take a bike ride or stroll around the neighborhood. If not, position yourself for a few minutes of gazing out the window.
Written in the spirit of not letting what we can’t do get in the way of what we can.
Did you try any of these? I’d love to hear about it.
I answered a bunch of questions in the Ask Me Anything thread last week, including if I feel older or younger, what the stars are like at sea, and several on fear and safety.
Feel free to drop in any more wonderings! Thanks for spending time with me.