Photo by 'Alan L'
  1. Select a plump and fresh looking pineapple
  2. Shell color is not necessarily a sign of maturity or ripeness. A pineapple can be ripe when it is practically all green outside.
  3. Smell it. It should smell fragrant but not too sweet. Smelling too sweet may indicate the pineapple has begun to ferment.
  4. Fresh, green leaves in the crown are a good sign.
  5. The body should be firm, but not too firm. Avoid soft pineapples or ones containing soft spots.
  6. Bigger does not mean better tasting.
  7. A pineapple will not ripen any further – get any sweeter – after picking. It is sugar that makes pineapple sweet after ripe. The sugar comes from the conversion of starch reserves in the stump at the time of ripening.

  1. Fresh pineapples from Hawaii are picked at maximum ripeness for delivery to U.S. and Canadian markets. The sooner they are eaten, the better.
  2. If you don’t plan to use a fresh pineapple right away, store it in your refrigerator. It will keep better and longer.
  3. Ease in pulling out leaves from the crown is NOT a sign of ripeness or good quality.

Tips on using pineapple

  1. Gelatin made with fresh pineapple won’t set. Fresh pineapple contains bromelain, a protelytic enzyme that breaks down protein in a manner similar to what happens in digestion.
  2. Do not mix cottage cheese, sour cream or other dairy products with fresh pineapple until just before serving.

Pineapple trivia

The pineapple is not actually one fruit, but many. The diamond-shaped segments of the skin are actually more than a hundred individual seedless fruits. The prickly short hair-like extensions from the pineapple eyes are in fact the remains of flowers that once bloomed on the pineapple spike.

The Pineapple: The King of Fruits by Fran Beauman