What if I told you that for some the pineapple peel is just as important, if not more important, than the fruit’s flesh?
What if I told you that one of those people is my dad? When a pineapple makes it to our house, while everyone is excited to see the fruit cut and savor its flesh, my dad’s excitement is mostly triggered by the fruit’s skin. He makes it a point to warn everyone and anyone who might come close to cutting the fruit that they must first thoroughly wash the pineapple. They should also refrain from discarding any piece of the peel. He will preserve that part of the fruit in a pitcher for later. A container no one should dare touch. His reason? He uses the skin to prepare a beverage he jokingly calls “good drink.”
“Gooooood driiiiiink” is another one of those silly food words he uses repeatedly at the family table. Just like his use of a silly voice for zabèbòlk or his goofy way of calling bonbon sirop good good syrup, the tone he takes when his good drink makes it to the table is quite amusing. He says it like no one else. Even I don’t do it justice when I try to mock him. Just picturing the look on his face as he utters those words is enough to bring a smile on my face.
My dad’s enthusiasm for this pineapple peel drink is indeed highly contagious.
He will drink a chilled glass of this pineapple flavored water daily and reuse the same fruit peel until it can no longer produce a flavorful beverage. According to him, this beverage is also one of the most economical drinks one can prepare. His argument? He can use one pineapple peel over and over again to prepare two or three batches of good drink. This fruit’s peel somehow manages to keep its flavor for a quite a while, even after macerating in water for days.
So what exactly is this good drink of his?
This pineapple peel water is actually known as goudrin or godrine in Haiti, two terms, which according to some, including my dad, are actually just a distorted Haitian way of saying good drink. This good old drink, goudrin, is the result of the fermentation of the skin of a very ripe pineapple and a couple spoonful of sugar . The more ripe the fruit, the bolder the flavors and the better the godrine. This blend macerates in water for about 48 hours. The resulting liquid is strained and set to cool in the fridge and served chilled with ice cubes.
It makes quite a refreshing summer drink. Serve it well-chilled and slightly sweetened. Goudrin is much like a breath of fresh air or a cool summer breeze. This beverage actually helps turn down the heat on a hot summer day. Try it for yourself. Next time you buy a pineapple, think twice before getting rid of the peel. Remember that it might actually cool you down when the sun is at its peak and thus help you survive the heat.
I first published this article on June 24th, 2015. This updated version from June 18, 2019 includes new pictures.
Godrine, goudrine, fermented pineapple peel drink
- Peel of a sweet pineapple
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- Thoroughly wash the pineapple and peel it
- Place the peel in a pitcher and fill with water
- Add the sugar, cover and let macerate at room temperature for about 48 hours
- Strain & serve chilled.