Picking the perfect, ripe pineapple at the grocery store can be a bit of a challenge.
Unlike other fruits, there’s much more to check beyond its color and appearance.
In fact, to ensure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck, you should pay close attention to the texture, smell, and weight of the fruit as well.
Here are 5 simple tips to help you pick the perfect pineapple.
- Check the color
When shopping at your local supermarket, be sure to look for pineapples that have vibrant and healthy green leaves, which are considered a sign of freshness.
Ideally, the exterior should have a greenish-yellow hue, which can indicate that it’s fully ripe.
This is because pineapples slowly change from green to yellow as they ripen, and they stop ripening after being picked.
However, green pineapples may be ripe in some cases, which is why it’s important to consider other factors beyond color when choosing your pineapple.
Pineapples that are fresh and fully ripe should have bright and healthy green leaves, as well as a greenish-yellow exterior.
- Give it a squeeze
Much like other fruits, the texture of your pineapple can be a dead giveaway to help determine whether it’s fully ripe.
A ripe pineapple should have a firm shell but be slightly soft with a bit of give when you squeeze it.
Pineapples that are completely solid or hard when squeezed are unlikely to be fully ripe.
Ripe pineapples should have a firm shell that is slightly soft when squeezed.
- Smell it
One of the best ways to tell if a pineapple is ripe and ready to enjoy is by smelling it.
Ripe pineapples typically have a sweet smell at the bottom, right near the base of the fruit.
If a pineapple doesn’t have any odor, it may mean that it’s not completely ripe.
On the other hand, a pungent or bitter odor often indicates that the pineapple may be overripe.
Ripe pineapples tend to have a sweet smell at the base of the fruit.
- Assess the weight
Checking the weight of your pineapple can be an effective strategy to help measure ripeness.
Look for a pineapple that feels heavy for its size, which often means that it’s more ripe.
In many cases, a heavy pineapple is a sign that it’s more juicy, which also means that it’s likely to be sweeter and more palatable.
Pineapples that are heavy for their size are often juicier, sweeter, and more ripe.
- Pull on the fronds
An easy way to tell if a pineapple is fully ripe is to gently tug at the fronds, which are the large leaves that protrude from the top of the pineapple.
According to some, the fronds should pull out very easily if a pineapple is ripe and ready to enjoy.
Fronds that are difficult to pull may be a sign that a pineapple is not fully ripe.
Fronds that are easy to pull out may indicate that a pineapple is ripe and ready.
The bottom line
Though selecting fresh, fully ripe pineapples at the store can be challenging, knowing a few strategies can facilitate the process.
Paying close attention to the color, smell, and texture of the pineapple can all help you determine whether the fruit is fully ripe.
Pulling gently at the fronds and assessing the weight of the fruit may also be effective strategies to help check for ripeness.
Following these simple tips will ensure that the next pineapple you buy and cut open will be juicy and delicious.