How to Choose a Pineapple That is Perfectly Ripe

Is it ripe? It's all about the firmness.

Is it ripe? It’s all about the firmness.

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Pineapple is one of my favorite fruits — minus the work it takes to cut.

I eat pineapple about as much as humanly possible in the summer months. I love it for its sweetness and the slight tang that accompanies it. Like nature’s Sour Patch Kids.

Until recently, I have always had one major problem with pineapples. It made my shopping experience hit or miss when it came to buying pineapples that I would want to eat. The problem was I never could tell for sure if a pineapple was ripe.

But now I know. And you will too. 

How to tell if a pineapple is ripe

The most important thing to pay attention to is the skin of the pineapple. You want to make sure it is firm but not hard. Also, you should look at the color of the leaves at their base, near the crown of the pineapple. If they are green and the pineapple is not too soft, then you have yourself a proper pineapple.

Common misconceptions

Some will say that you can tell if a pineapple is at its ripest point depending on the color. If you have ever bought an all green pineapple and let it sit for several days, then you will know that the color isn’t an indicator of how ripe it is. Why is that? The reason is that a pineapple isn’t going to change colors once it has been picked. Therefore, the color can’t tell you how ripe it is.

In fact, it can be ripe when it is almost entirely green on the outside. They even have a term for these types of pineapples, they are called “green shell ripe.”

Use this pineapple corer from Amazon and get right to the good stuff.

Another common misconception is that a pineapple will continue to ripen after it has been picked. I’m not sure where this idea came from (possibly because most other fruits still ripen off of the vine), but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Once a pineapple has been picked it is no longer going to ripen. This is the reason that most pineapple farmers do not harvest their fruit until they are almost completely yellow. Giving it the optimal level of sweetness to tartness.

Cut your pineapple with a good knife.

About the pineapple

Did you know that pineapples are actually a berry? Neither did I until very recently. Actually, pineapples are made up of several individual berries that fuse together to create one giant, delicious berry. Each scale on the pineapple is a single berry.

Until you’ve had pineapple skewers (Amazon) on the grill,
you haven’t had pineapple.

It is a fruit in the bromeliad and family, and it is one of the rare bromeliad plants that produce edible fruits.

Pineapple history

Of course, pineapples originated in tropical areas, as this was the only place it could be grown. But in the mid fifteenth century, Columbus found the delicious treat that was “the pineapple” while on a Caribbean island that is now known as Guadalupe.

Ever since then, the Europeans were hooked, and they even spent years trying to cultivate the plant in their own backyards, before finally coming to grips with the fact that the fruit needed a tropical climate to thrive.

These Take-Alongs from Amazon are perfect for
bringing sliced pineapple to work.

Status symbol fruit

There was a time where simply displaying a fresh pineapple at a party would garner the respect from all of the guests. Because of its lack of availability, this fruit was a real status symbol and was only found in the wealthiest of homes.

Pineapples are still fancy.
Take this cutting board from Amazon for instance.

So if you complain about pineapple prices now, just know, that we’ve got it pretty good compared to the people hundreds of years ago.

Pineapple storms the planet

Eventually, pineapples would come to grow in Hawaii, Mexico, Brazil, the Philippines and of course, China (because somehow they are able to grow, and make, anything known to man). They are still grown commercially in these countries to this day.

Goodbye free-radicals. Hello pineapple slices.

Goodbye free-radicals. Hello pineapple slices.

Health benefits

Pineapples are like any other fruit that we consume in that they offer a substantial amount of health benefits to our bodies. Funny how the best tasting things our planet grows, always has several benefits for our heath.

Immunity helper

Start with the immune system support and boost you get from eating pineapples. The vast amounts of vitamin C found inside of a pineapple are great for our bodies’ immune systems. It helps our bodies to fight free radical cells that are known to cause arterial plaque build-up, devastates the colon, causes cancer cells to form, and can cause a host of other problems in our bodies as well.

Energy booster

Another great benefit of this stuff is the energy promoting aspect of the fruit. Pineapple contains large amounts of manganese and Thiamin, a.k.a. Vitamin B1, both of which promote higher energy levels throughout the day.

If you feel that midday slump coming, don’t reach for a Redbull or Monster energy drink. Instead, grab yourself some pineapple slices.

No one will blame you if you also get a coffee.
Here are my favorite coffee makers with thermal carafes.

Wrap – Up

Before I ever even knew about the health benefits of pineapples, which are far more numerous than just the few we discussed here, I always loved this delicious fruit. Now that I do know how much it benefits my body I have even more reason to love it.

Anything that tastes this delicious and fights off those “evil” free range cells is definitely a food that I want to consume – en masse!

Ever wondered how to cook lobster tails on the grill? I’ll show you how.

Additional Resources

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Andrew M. and Kyle M.