The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant from the Bromeliaceae family native to South America, where it has been grown for centuries.
The pineapple was first introduced to Europe in the 17th century and became a significant cultural icon of luxury.
However, it’s difficult to find ripe pineapple at the grocery store.
Unlike other fruits, there’s a lot more to look at than just the color and appearance.
Here are five ways to tell if a pineapple is ripe.
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1. Smell the pineapple
Flip the pineapple over and take a sniff at the stem end.
The most important aspect of selecting a ripe pineapple is its sweet scent. If it doesn’t have a scent, it’s probably not ripe.
Try smelling the pineapple from different angles.
A sweet enough scent may be discernible on any side of the fruit.
The scent should still be detectable from the stem end, where it is most likely to be strongest.
Avoid pineapples that have a fermented smell.
Although you want the pineapple to smell sweet, you don’t want it to be so overripe that the sweet smell becomes fermented.
A bitter odor often shows that the pineapple is overripe and possibly spoiled (1).
2. Squeeze the pineapple
The texture of your pineapple, like that of other fruits, can indicate whether it is fully ripe.
A ripe pineapple should have a firm shell that is slightly soft when squeezed.
Pineapples that are completely solid or hard when squeezed are unlikely to be fully ripe.
Squeeze the pineapple lightly with one hand’s fingers.
You want the pineapple to be fairly firm, but soft enough that it gives slightly when pressed.
If the pineapple is too soft and squishy, it is rotten and not good to eat.
3. Weigh the pineapple in your hand
Checking the weight of your pineapple can be an effective method for determining ripeness.
Look for a pineapple that feels heavy for its size, as this usually shows that it is more ripe.
Most times, a heavy pineapple shows that it is more juicy, which means it will be sweeter and more enjoyable.
It is important to note that “heavier” does not imply “larger.” When compared to other pineapples of comparable size, the pineapple should feel heavy.
If a larger pineapple feels the same weight as a slightly smaller one, the smaller one is probably the better choice.
4. Pluck a leaf from the top of the pineapple
Gently Pluck a leaf from the top of the pineapple, to see if it is fully ripe.
According to some, if a pineapple is ripe to eat, the leaf should easily pull out. Pineapple fronds that are difficult to pull may show that the pineapple is not fully ripe.
While public opinion is divided on the effectiveness of this method. Some people believe that a pineapple is ripe when a leaf can be plucked from the top with little resistance.
However, if a leaf comes out too easily, the pineapple may be rotten.
5. Check the color
When shopping at your local supermarket, look for pineapples with vibrant and healthy green leaves, as this is a sign of freshness.
The exterior should ideally be greenish yellow, showing that it is fully ripe. This is because pineapples gradually change from green to yellow as they ripen, and they stop ripening once picked.
Green pineapples may be ripe sometimes, which is why it’s important to consider factors other than color when selecting your pineapple.
Selecting fully ripe pineapples at the store can be difficult, but knowing a few strategies can help.
Paying close attention to the color, smell, and texture of the pineapple can all help to determine whether it is fully ripe.
Pulling gently on the fronds and weighing the fruit may also be effective methods for determining ripeness.
Following these simple guidelines will ensure that the next pineapple you purchase and cut open is juicy and delicious.