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Nov 7, 2006 04:19 PM

What to do with leftover pineapple rinds? Tepache

Tepache... what is it? Its a traditional Mexican beverage particularly common on the Central West Coast (Nayarit, Colima, Jalisco) as well as in Mexico City (where there are immigrants from all over), that is made by fermenting pineapple leftovers (rind, core etc.,).

I just tasted my first homemade batch & it is delicious. Its lightly fizzy like a spritzer, refreshing with hints of alcohol, pineapple & woodsy flavors.

It is a brilliant way to get full use of all the fruit, & it poses endless chowish possibilities... from a refreshing & exotic beverage, to a cool cocktail mixer, to a Gelatine ingredient (in the same vein as the Sherry Gelatines you find in Guadalajara), Sorbets, Coulis etc.,

The following link has the most widely available recipe:


> All the recipes in English call for using a whole pineapple. But the ones from Mexico tend to call only for the rind. I am pretty happy with the rind only results... very reminicent to what I used to have in Mexico.

> Most recipes call for only 48 hours of fermentation & they suggest adding a beer. My guess is that this is a modern commercial innovation designed to speed up the process & lower costs. However, Prehispanic peoples did not have the luxure of adding a beer so I am going to guess that they just let it ferment for a lot longer. I did 72 hours & I am very happy I did because all the Carbonation seem to have developed in the last 24 hours.

> This link is an abstract from Food Science and Technology International on a research study conducted in Mexico City that concluded consumers there preferred a Tepache that had undergone a secondary fermentation.

> This link is on beer making & describes the secondary fermentation process. Based on this link I am going to guess that fermenting the Tepache for at least 1 week will provide the best results... particularly in eliminating some of the chemical like flavor notes that are produced in the primary fermentation.

> The receipes all tend to have a lot of water during the fermentation process... but if we reduce the quantity of water, we produce a more suitable anaerobic environment for the yeast to develop.

> Since it is November & we don't all have a consistely warm place in the sun to encourage the growth, I would suggest starting with lukewarm water & periodically microwaving your fermenting product just to get it up to about 100 degrees or so.

> The Cinammon & Cloves are too subtle in this recipe.. I would suggest crushing them just a little bit so that the flavor is a little bit more assertive.

> Finally, I used a Hawaiin pineapple instead of a Mexican... and it seemed to work just fine. Just make sure not to disenfect the rind in anyway or you will never get the yeast.

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  1. Great informative post. Did you use any ale? Are you planning to do further batches trying different methods? If so, I hope you will report back on the results.

    The only other way I knew of using pineapple rinds was the Peruvian drink chica morada. However I never saw the purple corn sold locally and I'm not all that much a chica morada fan though I understand that purple corn has lots of health benefits.

    I'll give tepache a try next time I buy a fresh pineapple.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      Hey Orange... didn't use any ale. Yes, I am planning for a secondary fermentation & crushing cinammon & cloves on the next batch. So far its been 2 hours since my last glass & I haven't gotten sick yet... I think its going to work!

      BTW, I witnessed chicha manufacturing in Ollantaytambo (Sacred Valley of the Inkas) & they did not use pineapple rind as a starter... they chew some corn masa & add it to the mixture instead.

      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        Did they use pineapple rind in the chicha at all? Don't know too much about it. The first taste I had was at El Chaldon in El Sobrante, CA. The owners are Peruvian and they were the ones who said they used pineapple rinds when I was asking about the drink.

        I forgot to ask. What is the Spanish name for Guadalajara Sherry Gelatines?

        1. re: rworange

          I can't say for all of Peruvian chichas but in the Cusco area (where it is most prevalent)... no pineapple anywhere to be seen.

          Sherry Gelatin is Jerez... it is usually a purpleish red, typically made with a very sweet, inexpensive Sherry branded as Tres Coronas which is available in California.

          BTW, if you purchase Tres Coronas it makes a great cocktail with Sangria Senorial + fresh lime juice.

          1. re: rworange

            Now that I think about it... they probably just use pineapple rind to get over the PR challenge of using human chewed ingredients.

      2. thanks for the info - i have been looking to make this for awhile and now I feel empowered.

        1. Let SIMMER for 48 hours?? That's a lot of simmering! Could that possibly be an error in translation?

          5 Replies
          1. re: ricepad

            They meant let it rest when you see the bubbling you will understand why somebody may have mistranslated... or tried to get cute with the wording.

            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              What about vinagre? Daisy Martinez made it on a recent show. Pineapple rinds, habaneros, onions, garlic, etc. I just checked and the recipe is on the net. If you search "pineapple vinagre" you'll get several more recipes. I'm making it this weekend.

              1. re: oakjoan

                Thanks for the major tip about vinegar. I love making condiments of all kinds, and I have four pineapples on my countertop waiting to be wrestled with. I'm so glad I won't be throwing so much away.

                1. re: oakjoan

                  Your da bomb! I have been looking for such a recipe & oddly had not found it.

                  What will you do with pineapple vinager? Ceviche without Lime Juice?

                2. re: Eat_Nopal

                  So, you don't simmer it on low for 48 hours, then? Could you please clarify? Thanks!

              2. The original comment has been removed
                1. I'm definately thinking of ceviche. It's also supposed to be great sprinkled over kebabs, beans like a condiment.

                  She also made some pickle with onions, etc. that looked great. I gotta look that up.

                  It's weird. I used to really dislike her cause of all her "cute" attitude, but now I even love that. She made a shrimp and bean fritter that looked great - I think vinagre was served along with.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: oakjoan

                    i used to feel the same way about daisy! hated her show because she was TOO enthusiastic. but now her food has won me over. it looks soooo tasty. maybe she wasn't being overly enthusiastic but sincere.