What Makes a Good Pineapple?

Fruit Image Gallery Pineapples should smell aromatic and sweet in the supermarket. See more fruit pictures.
David Lat

Q. Is there a good way to pick out a ripe pineapple?

A. Unlike some fruits that contain extra starch reserves which can easily be converted into sugar after harvesting, pineapples do not ripen or become sweeter once they have been picked. This makes it even more important to choose a ripe pineapple right at the supermarket.

When picking out a pineapple, choose one that is plump with a bright green crown, golden yellow body, and a strong, sweet aroma at the stem end.


While you should avoid pineapples that are green, have bruises or soft spots, dry-looking leaves, or a fermented aroma, a fragrant fruit is the most reliable way to detect ripeness.

Pineapples flown in from Hawaii are generally tastier and in better condition than those arriving via truck or boat from Latin America. Because pineapples from Latin America generally have a longer commute time from farm to market, they are often picked before their optimal state of ripeness, which can result in bland, fibrous fruit.

Fresh pineapple does not sweeten with age; however, it will become sour and less acidic. Ripe whole pineapples will keep in the refrigerator for three to five days, while cut-up pineapple can be stored in an airtight, nonmetallic container in the refrigerator up to a week.


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