Pineapple has always been one of my favorite foods. Pineapple on pizza? Yes! Pineapple with chicken? Yes! My husband and I would order any food with pineapple at restaurants. As much as we adored fresh pineapple, we rarely enjoyed it at home. Why? Because we had no idea how to choose a pineapple at the grocery store! We had purchased a few in the past, but when cutting them at home we discovered that they were either too ripe or not ripe enough.
When a new Trader Joe’s opened nearby, we encountered a knowledgeable produce employee on a visit. We shared with him how intimidated we were by the simple task of choosing a pineapple. He selflessly shared his expertise with us, and we have used it to pick the perfect pineapple to this day!
Smell. It sounds strange, but start out by smelling the bottom of the pineapple that you’ve chosen. The bottom of the pineapple should, well, smell like a fresh pineapple. If it doesn’t, then it’s not ripe.
Touch. Gently squeeze the pineapple. It should not be squishy but should have a slight amount of give.
Look. The pineapple color should not be black. I know that sounds strange, but my mother in law brought me a black pineapple once thinking it was ripe, so apparently that is not a fact that everyone knows. A good color is typically green with a bit of yellow on the bottom.
Optionally, pull. Some people believe that pulling an inner leaf will demonstrate if a pineapple is ripe. The thought process is if an inner leaf pulls out easily, then the pineapple is ripe. I’ve personally never used this technique. By smelling, touching, and looking, I’ve been able to choose the perfect pineapple every time I’ve purchased one.
I hope this will help someone pick out the perfect fresh pineapple at the grocery store. Fresh pineapple is a great way to spruce up a variety of recipes! Check out a few below: