How to Pick a Perfectly Ripe Pineapple

You may think of pineapples as a Hawaiian fruit, but it also has a history rooted in colonial America. During the 17th and 18th centuries, only the richest, highest ranking people in society could afford to have fresh pineapple on their dinner party tables. In fact, store owners would actually rent whole pineapples for the day, several days in a row, so that hostesses could claim the notoriety that came from being able to set a decadent table.

Those hostesses didn't have to worry about picking a ripe pineapple because there wasn't much to choose from when the ships arrived with their Caribbean cargo. Today, though, you can find fresh pineapple in almost any grocery store. If you've ever stood in front of a large display of pineapples in the produce section wondering exactly when are pineapples ripe, you're not alone. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming if you follow this simple guide to knowing when pineapples are ripe.

How To Tell When Pineapple Are Ripe

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The most important thing to know is that a perfect pineapple smells, well, like pineapple. Turn the pineapple upside down and smell the base of the pineapple. It should smell sweet and fresh. If it doesn't smell at all, then the fruit is most likely unripe. If it smells too sweet, like alcohol or vinegar, it's probably an overripe pineapple.

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Another good judge of ripeness is touch. You want it to be firm, but with a little bit of give. You don't want it to be soft and squishy. A pineapple at peak ripeness will be heavy, as compared to other pineapples of the same size. In other words, don't look for the biggest, heaviest pineapple, but rather one that's heavy for its size.

Are Pineapples Ripe When Green?

Finally, take a good look. A green pineapple isn't necessarily an unripe pineapple, but the fruit's rind shouldn't be entirely green. Look for a yellow color starting at the bottom of the fruit. We've never had much luck with the pluck a leaf method; it's better to choose the ones with healthy, green leaves instead.

It's not hard to pick the perfect ripe pineapple with a little know-how at the grocery store. And like the hostesses of yore, you too can impress your friends and neighbors with delicious fruit. Even better, because you actually get to eat your pineapple!

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