6 Tips on How to Choose A Ripe Pineapple: Pineapples are one of the tricky fruits to choose, as you can’t always tell from the colour alone whether or not the pineapple is ripe. To choose a ripe pineapple, you have to make use your different senses.
Its been a while since we did an ingredient guide for choosing fresh fruits and vegetables. Since we had the chance to go pineapple shopping while filming our latest recipe videos for Spiced Pineapple Jam and Homemade Pineapple Tarts (recipes coming soon!), we decided to put together a quick guide for anyone who want to know how to choose pineapples!
Here are 6 things that you should be looking out for in a good pineapple:
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1. Look at the Colour
The colour of a pineapple is generally a good indication of whether they are ripe. We say generally because sometimes green pineapples could be ripe, but we wouldn’t want to take the risk. We usually look for the yellow colouration around the eyes of the pineapple, starting from the stem up, because pineapples usually ripen from the bottom.
You should avoid pineapples that are too green as these are usually not ripe and very sour. Neither is it a good idea to choose pineapples that are completely yellow as these tend to be over-ripe. It is best to find a pineapple that is about 3/4 ripe, with the yellow colouration but some green as well. After you bring it home, you can allow it to continue to ripen for about 1-2 days before use.
Example 1: Pineapple on the left is too green, whereas pineapple on the right is just nice (3/4 ripe)
Example 2: Pineapple below is completely yellow with brown spots and withered leaves – it is definitely over ripe
2. Look at the Eyes
Always choose pineapples with bigger eyes (diamond shaped patterns on the skin). The larger the eyes, the longer the pineapple was left to ripen naturally before being picked, so they tend to be sweeter than pineapples with smaller eyes.
3. Look at the Leaves
The leaves should be green and fresh looking (a bit of brown at the tips of the leaves is fine). Avoid pineapples where the leaves look brown, dehydrated and withered.
4. Look at the Body
Choose pineapples with a plump round body, rather than those that taper too much at the top. Those that taper a lot at the top will not have much pineapple flesh in the upper half after cutting away the skin, eyes and core.
5. Smell the Pineapple Stem
The bottom end (stem end) of the pineapple is the most fragrant because pineapples ripen from bottom up, where nutrients are feed to it through the bottom stem. You should look out for a sweet and fragrant smell. Avoid pineapples which don’t have any smell (no ripe) or smell sourish or fermented (over ripe).
6. Feel for Firmness
Lightly press the pineapple to check for firmness. It should be firm but very slightly soft. Avoid pineapples that are soft, as these are usually over ripe.
7. Feel for Weight
For pineapples of comparable size, choose the heavier one as they tend to be juicier.
Last but not least, here’s our very best tip for you!
After buying the pineapples, invert them over a container and let them stand upside down for about 1-2 days as they continued to ripen. This method (which I learnt from my local fruit seller) uses gravity to draw the sugars which are concentrated at the stem end of the pineapples into the rest of the fruit so that it will be evenly sweet and ripened. And it really works! Give it a try to see for yourself 🙂