Fresh pineapple is an amazing treat. There’s nothing like biting into a sweet, juicy piece of pineapple and imagining yourself on a tropical beach. Peeling and slicing the fruit can be a bit of a chore, so make it worth your while by picking only the freshest and sweetest of the bunch.
Compared to other fruits, it can be difficult to figure out when pineapple is ripe. Learn to identify the signs so you won’t get stuck with fruit that is hard, sour or past its prime.
Choose the Ripest Pineapple
The best pineapples are bright in appearance, not dull or dingy looking. The color of a fully ripe pineapple is a dark yellow-orange color. Another telltale sign is a fragrant aroma. Go ahead and smell the pineapples in the grocery store before putting one in your cart. The scent of a truly ripe pineapple will often find you, rather than you finding it. When it is at the peak of ripeness the top often pulls out easily, making it easier to peel.
Seven Things You Never Want to See
- Wrinkled skin - This is a sign the pineapple has passed its prime and is too old to be purchased.
- A soft spongy feeling - If the skin is soft and spongy, it's a sign that this pineapple has begun to deteriorate.
- Sour, fermented or vinegar odor from the fruit - Your pineapple should smell sweet and juicy, not old and sour. Follow your nose.
- A green pineapple - Although some guides will tell you that a green pineapple is alright to purchase, if it is harvested while it is green the fruit will never reach its peak ripeness. It just won't be the sweetest, juiciest pineapple that you've ever tasted.
- A split in the skin or leaking juice - Obviously, a split, gashes, or leaking juice is a sign that this typically very hearty fruit has been mishandled or damaged.
- Withered leaves - Pineapples are slow to show outward signs of their age, but if the leaves are old and withered, this is a good sign that the fruit is old as well. Opt for a fresher pineapple.
- Mold – This should go without saying, but never bring home produce that has any signs of mold or mildew on it.
When it comes to pineapples, size does matter. Unfortunately, when we cut a fresh pineapple, we discard much of the exterior. A thicker, larger pineapple will yield more fruit to eat. It just makes sense to pick a pineapple with more edible fruit.
Enjoy your pineapple fresh or cooked, as a side-dish, dessert or snack. No matter what you’re doing with your pineapple, getting it at its peak is crucial. Follow these tips and you’ll be picking perfect produce in no time.
While pineapple is a delicious fruit to eat fresh, it is also a wonderful ingredient to combine in recipes. Pineapple, whether fresh or canned, makes fabulous kabob recipes, like these Fruit Kabobs with Pineapple Dip
or this savory Shrimp and Pineapple Kabobs
recipe, and it's perfect in Pineapple Salsa
to serve on the side or over pork or chicken.
Grilled pineapple is a luscious side dish, as in this Grilled Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin and Pineapple
recipe. And of course pineapple adds a tangy twist to many dessert recipes, like this Quick Pineapple Upside Down Cake
However you eat pineapple, enjoy it!