You can do many things with fruit peelings, including making vinegar. So it should come as no surprise that in parts of Mexico and South America, this fermented pineapple drink is made from the peels of the pineapple. Pineapple is a sweet fruit when fully ripe, so it lends itself well to a lightly carbonated, refreshing drink such as tepache. Many variations are made throughout Central and South America. Some recipes call for spices such as cinnamon and cloves, some call for a large quantity of added sweetener, and others call for no sweetener at all for a drier-tasting recipe. This is a very basic recipe, calling for 1 to 2 cups of sweetener, the latter of which will have a sweeter taste once fermented. As with most fermentations, this does contain a very small amount of alcohol, especially when made with extra sugar. Also, do be careful to not let it ferment too long or you will end up with vinegar.
- 2 pineapples
- 1 to 2 cups sugar or sweetener of choice, depending on taste
- Water to cover
- Remove tops and peels of pineapple, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch of fruit on each peel. Set fruit aside to eat fresh.
- If using a granulated sweetener, dissolve in hot water. In a one-gallon, non-reactive vessel, combine pineapple, sugar water, and additional water to cover. Weight down the pineapple peelings to keep them below the level of the water. Cover vessel.
- Place in a warm spot and allow to ferment for 1 to 5 days, checking the flavor daily to achieve desired taste. The longer it ferments, the more fizzy and sour it will become.
- Strain off and serve over ice as is, or to produce a more carbonated beverage, place in airtight bottles 3 days into fermenting (before it becomes too fizzy), cap, and refrigerate immediately.