With today’€™s speedy communication networks, if you want to eat fresh pineapple, you will have every opportunity to do so. Yet, if you live in an area where pineapples don’€™t grow naturally, you may still prefer to buy the tinned variety —€“ simply because you don’€™t know how to tell if a whole pineapple is ripe or not. Nevertheless, if you follow some basic tips, you should be able to ensure that the pineapples you buy from your local supermarket are just ripe enough before you cut into them.
Fragrance is an important clue as to whether a pineapple is ripe or not. Sniff at the base of the pineapple. If it doesn’€™t have a scent at all, it probably isn’€™t ripe enough. This may be fine if you are not planning to eat it for a day or two, but if you want to eat it straight away, then put it straight back. If it is ripe enough to eat, it should smell sweet, but without any vinegary overtones, which will mean that the pineapple is over-ripe and is likely to taste bad.
The color of the pineapple provides another give-away when it comes to ripeness. Although you can’€™t see much of the yellow flesh of the pineapple from the outside, you should be able to look at the rough surface of the pineapple and see yellow tinges around the base of the berries that make up the fruit.
The higher up those yellow tinges go from the base of the fruit, the riper it is likely to be. If it is entirely green, then it has probably been picked too early and will not ripen enough to eat. According to the University College of the Caribbean, pineapples are at their best when allowed to ripen on the plant.
As with most fruits, a pineapple should be relatively firm to the touch; it should not be so hard that it doesn’t yield at all, but nor should it be springy or spongy either. If it is at all spongy, put it straight back, because it is undoubtedly on the turn and will be inedible. If you’€™re concerned that it is a little too hard to be as juicy as you would like, store it for a couple of days by placing it upside down. Ideally, this should be on a kitchen counter rather than in a fridge.
The above tips may already be enough to convince you that the pineapple you have chosen is ripe enough for your liking. However, examining the surface of the pineapple, including the stem, to check for bruising, brown spots or anything else you aren’€™t happy with should ensure that you are buying the best pineapple you can.
Pineapples are a nutritious fruit that can be eaten on their own, or as part of a dish, both savory and sweet. Become accustomed to looking for signs of ripeness and you will avoid a lot of wastage.