Admittedly, when looking at a stack of pineapples at the grocery store, they tend to all look the same. As opposed to other produce where you can check for bruises or brown spots, you might not necessarily be able to tell by just looking at a pineapple whether it's ripe or gone bad. And no one likes to go home and cut into a fruit that's sour or mushy! So here, we've broken down exactly how to pick out a pineapple that's perfectly sweet and ready to eat.
Pineapple should smell like, well, pineapple. Give the bottom of the fruit a quick sniff to see if it has its distinct sweet smell. If it smells fermented, skip it—it may be bad. The bottom should also be a bright color and not brown.
Step 2: Give it a squeeze
According to Whole Foods, the overall external color of the pineapple does not show its ripeness, because ripening stops once a pineapple is harvested. That means a green one could be just as ripe as a yellow one. Instead, look for a fruit with green leaves and a firm "shell." Give your pineapple a gentle squeeze and it should feel firm to the touch, but also give a little.
Note: Pineapples don't get sweeter with age, but they do get juicier and softer. If you're going to cut it right away, pick one that has a little more give. If you're going to wait a bit, pick one that's a little more firm.
Step 3: Weigh it in your hands
Like most fruit, the heavier it is, the higher the water content and the juicier the fruit. Compare your pineapple to a few others to find one that's heavy.
Some say another way to check to see if you've found a winning pineapple is to tug at its leaves—if the leaves are able to be easily pulled out, it's ready, and if they're not, wait on cutting it. However, Dole says this isn't necessarily true.
So, once you've picked your perfect pineapple, you can store it at room temperature. If you don't plan on eating it for a few days, put it in the refrigerator and keep an eye on it. Once it's cut, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to about six days.
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