• Yield: Serves 15 to 20

The pineapple is a symbol for hospitality and friendship and serves as an image of welcome . . . not unlike the appetizer. Nothing will welcome friends better than a pineapple-flavored, pineapple-shaped appetizer.


  • 2 bunches scallions 

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened 

  • 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese 

  • One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained well 

  • 1 small jalapeño, cored, seeded, and diced 

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 

  • 2 cups pecan halves, toasted, for decorating 

  • Crackers, for serving


Cut the green tops off the scallions; set aside. From the white parts of the scallions, chop 1 tablespoon and reserve. 

Using a stand mixer or a bowl and a spatula, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, pineapple, jalapeño, cumin, salt, and the reserved tablespoon chopped scallions until combined. Form the mixture into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

Before serving, remove the cheese ball from the plastic, mold into a pineapple shape, and set it on a platter--it should look like an oval with a flat top. Arrange the pecans to look like the skin of a pineapple (you may need less than 2 cups, but choose the best-looking pecans to decorate the cheese ball). Stick the reserved green scallion tops in the top of the cheese ball to look like the crown of a pineapple. 

Serve with crackers.

Excerpted from Great Balls of Cheese, © 2013 by Michelle Buffardi. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.