in reply to chop from front and back
# this is long just to be readable
# some clever Monks will no doubt show shorter methods...
# Monks get stroppy if you don't use these... :-)
# Perl developers best friend....
# array we want to process...
my @array = qw( "abc def" );
# print array to show it contains the two elements...
print "Array:".Dumper( \@array)."\n";
# join your array together...
my $str = join( '', @array);
# remove anything you don't want in the string...
# this removes all quotes, but you can change it
# to just start and end
$str =~ s/['"]//g; # ...or $str =~ tr/'"//;
# output result....
If you spot any bugs in my solutions, it's because I've deliberately left them in as an exercise for the reader! :-)