If you’re in the mood to enjoy some pineapple and want to purchase it whole and slice it yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a pineapple. The most important thing is to select one that’s ripe: Once a pineapple has been picked, it will no longer ripen, so it’s important to choose one that’s been plucked at its peak.
Below, a few of our suggestions for selecting a ripe pineapple.
1) For the most part, disregard color.
The color of a pineapple’s shell doesn’t tell you much about ripeness. Not all ripe pineapples are yellow—a green pineapple can be ripe, too. Look for a bit of yellow, which should be present at the eyes at the base of the fruit, but a green tint elsewhere is not a bad thing. The leaves should be a vibrant shade of green.
2) Instead, give it a squeeze…
The body of a pineapple should never be soft (that’s a bad sign). Rather, it should be firm, although it should yield slightly to a squeeze.
3) …As well as a sniff.
Put your nose near the stem side of the pineapple and inhale. It should smell aromatic, with a scent that’s sweet and tropical. If there’s no scent, this is an indication that they pineapple’s not ripe. A vinegary or alcoholic stench means it’s probably past its prime.
4) Feel its heaviness in your hand.
Weight is another consideration when selecting the right pineapple. As with many fruits, the heavier the fruit, the better—generally this means there’s the highest water content, and therefore the juiciest flesh.
5) If all else fails…
If you’re stuck with a pineapple that’s lacking in the ripeness department, here’s what to do:
- Cut the top of the pineapple off.
- Place the body of the pineapple, cut-side down, on a plate.
- Cover the pineapple and let it rest in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Hawaiians swear by this method, as it supposedly helps the juices from the bottom of the pineapple, which was connected to the plant, circulate throughout.
Do you have other tips for choosing the best pineapple? Let us know what they are in the comments below!