They’re spiky, thick, and sharp, but you can easily learn HOW TO PICK A PINEAPPLE for your salsa or pina colada using our few simple tricks. It’s just a matter of wanting it beyond its appearance. Now you can buy it without cutting it for a sample to taste!
If there’s one thing I could say about pineapples, they are literally aggressive. I mean, what’s with all those spikes and sharp leaves??? But I always believe in the good old saying not to judge a book by its cover. Because if you look way past its appearance, this spikey hipster is brimming with sweet summer sunshine vibes.
It’s always calling your name; wanting your attention and screaming for you to take it home. But wait…how will you know if it’s good enough for you? Will it truly connect with you? Okay…for the record.. I’m still talking about pineapples.
But seriously, how will you know if that pineapple is *THE* pineapple that you want? In today’s post, we’ll be sharing some no-brainer tips on how to pick a good pineapple without even slicing it.
When is Pineapple Season?
This pinecone look-a-like, thus the name, is a century-old symbol of hospitality and is native to South America. It is the third most popular tropical fruit in the world with Hawaii as the leading pineapple producer, until Costa Rica, Brazil, and the Philippines took over that spot by 2016.
While you can certainly enjoy sweet pineapples all year round, pineapple’s peak season usually runs from March up until July.
How to Tell if Pineapple is Ripe?
If you’re in the mood to enjoy and buy a whole pineapple for yourself, then ditch all the guesswork, coz today we will be sharing with you some tips on picking a good pineapple. That means you’ll be able to pick a ripe pineapple that is perfectly sweet, slightly tangy, and just downright refreshing! Now pay attention.
Color is Everything
Like any other fruit, the pineapple color will help you determine if you’ve picked a good one. As a general rule of thumb, the more yellow the pineapple’s skin is, the riper it is. But you don’t want it to be on that dark orange side – no we don’t want that. Because that would indicate that it’s overripe and gone too far.
Look for those ones that are golden yellow from top to bottom. Even with some yellow tint and green elsewhere isn’t a bad thing at all.
But one interesting thing you need to know though about pineapple is that it doesn’t ripen much once it is plucked out from the plant. And with that, those greener, less-ripe ones you see at the grocery store, well, hate to break it to you friend, but it won’t ripen at all.
Check out the Leaves
Let’s talk a bit specific this time, shall we? The leaves. Well, how should pineapple leaves look like when it’s good? First, a good pineapple should have vibrant green leaves. Now take a closer look at its frond or that one near the middle of the crown. Gently tug it, and if the frond gently comes out without resisting, then you’re good to go. But if it won’t release and keeps intact, then it isn’t the right one for you.
Feel it Like You Mean It
Forget the spikes, coz you’re meant to do this anyway, one way or the other. Sorry, we can’t do anything about that. But grab the pineapple and feel it with your bare hands. It should be firm, but yield slightly to a squeeze. A rock-hard or soft pineapple isn’t the one we’re looking for.
And like many fruits, weight is also a good indicator when selecting the right pineapple. The heavier it is, the higher the water content, which means it is packed with fresh juicy flesh. Double YUM!
Give it a Good Sniff
Are you a great sniffer? I’m proud to say that I am! Woohoo!! Now hold on to that special skill. To spot a perfect pineapple, give the bottom of the fruit a good sniff.
If it smells sweet, fresh, bright, and fruity, then you’re good to go. However, if it starts to have a strong sweet funky vinegary smell, then that pineapple is out of the topic.
How to Store a Pineapple
Congratulations on making it this far!
Now that you have learned some of the basic ways to pick a good pineapple, head over to the grocery store and put it to practice.
Once you’ve picked THE one for you, you can immediately peel and slice them right away (check my How to Cut a Pineapple guide) or store them in the meantime.
Take note that fresh pineapples are quite perishable despite their heavily armored skin. You can store them though at room temperature for up to 2 days. Or you can tightly wrap them up in a plastic wrap or bag and store them in the fridge for up to 3-5 days to extend their lifespan.
Trimmed and cut pineapples, on the other hand, needs to be stored in airtight plastic containers, refrigerated, and consumed within 5-7 days.
Pro Tip: Let the refrigerated pineapple come to room temperature before eating them to improve flavor.
Ways to Enjoy Ripe Pineapple
Enjoying pineapples is just one of my personal favorite summer quirks. I enjoy making them as juices, desserts and adding to some savory dishes for a touch of a tropical twist. Here are just a few of the many ways you can enjoy this summery golden fruit.
- Homemade Pineapple Juice
- Pineapple Cake
- Pineapple Fried Rice
- Grilled Pineapple Black Bean Salsa
- Pineapple Pie
Happy pineapple shopping!