- Select a plump and fresh looking pineapple
- Shell color is not necessarily a sign of maturity or ripeness. A pineapple can be ripe when it is practically all green outside.
- Smell it. It should smell fragrant but not too sweet. Smelling too sweet may indicate the pineapple has begun to ferment.
- Fresh, green leaves in the crown are a good sign.
- The body should be firm, but not too firm. Avoid soft pineapples or ones containing soft spots.
- Bigger does not mean better tasting.
- 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.
- Fresh pineapples from Hawaii are picked at maximum ripeness for delivery to U.S. and Canadian markets. The sooner they are eaten, the better.
- If you don’t plan to use a fresh pineapple right away, store it in your refrigerator. It will keep better and longer.
- Ease in pulling out leaves from the crown is NOT a sign of ripeness or good quality.
Tips on using pineapple
- 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.
- Do not mix cottage cheese, sour cream or other dairy products with fresh pineapple until just before serving.
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|