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Apr 6, 2001 01:27 PM

Pineapple ripeness test

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Usually one checks for the enticing aroma, for brown color and few traces of immature green, no overly soft parts. . . but yesterday my wife asked the grocer if a certain one was ready. He plucked out a leaf from the top and. . . ate it. And said it was fine. It was. She was taken aback and didn't ask what was indicative in its taste (didn't know they were edible). Has anyone had such experience or can expound on the bouquet of pineapple leaves in revealing the inner quality?

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  1. g
    Gabriel Solis

    I've known people who say that the ability to easily pluck a leaf from near the top is a sign of ripeness, but I've never heard of anyone eating one.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Gabriel Solis

      If you smell the base of the pineapple, and it smells like a ripe pineapple, it's ripe. If it has no scent, it's green, and if it smells alcoholic, it's starting to rot.

      1. re: ironmom

        I too was taught to pull a leaf from the inside, if it pulled easily it was ready to eat. I also pay attention to color and smell, but I've never heard of eating a leaf. I'll have to give it a try.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. b
        Brandon Nelson


        I have worked in retail produce for 12 years. I have done a fair share of research, and have endlessly debunked old wives tales about melons, brocolli, you name it. This is a new one on me. I'll have to give it a try. Boy this is gonna raise a few eyebrows!

        You have all the basics down. The other advice I have is to check out, and smell, any cut pineapples that are present. If they are firm, a little tender, and golden they should be good. The bouquet should be present even through shrink wrap. If it smells sweet and floral, go for it. If it smell like alcohol (even a little) it is past it's prime.


        8 Replies
        1. re: Brandon Nelson
          Brandon Nelson


          I tried this today. I might as well have eaten a leaf off of our fig tree. I tasted like, well, a leaf. I wonder if this guy wasn't having a little fun with your wife?


          1. re: Brandon Nelson

            He seemed quite serious when he "tested" the leaf. The enigma grows . . .

            1. re: Allan Evans

              Maybe just the last bit of the leaf where it goes into the crown of the fruit? Might you pick up some flavor there?
              Apropos of nothing, one of the things I like best about pineapples was the discovery that you could twist the pineapple top right off, rather than cutting it off. Cool.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Yes, I agree, Jen. Twisting the top off is a totally cool thing to do! I just bought one this morning. I rely on the sniff method for ripeness. And the color too, it should be uniformly yellow, with no brownish soft places or shriveled up looking spots. I was on a complete pineapple binge last year and bought one once a week for a few months. I had good luck with my method. I did try the chewing the leaf trick just now and I discovered that, yup, it tasted like a leaf. pat

                1. re: pat hammond

                  Although I never eat the leaf, plucking one leaf is a regular part of my pineapple examinations. If the leaf comes out fairly easily, the pineapple is ripe. If it's really firmly stuck in there, its not ripe. I perform this test after checking for smell.

                  Sadly, I was misled by my nose on a cantaloupe I bought this week. It smelled wonderful, but when I cut myself a slice from the melon it was hard and fairly tasteless. How could I have known better?

                  1. re: rachel hope

                    Hi Rachel,

                    I'm used always to be fooled by cantaloupe, and other melons still often confound me. But here's what I've discovered about the cantaloupe: Find one you'd normally think would be ripe (like the one you just brought home)and no matter how good it smells, give it a shake. Can you hear the seeds and juice sloshing around inside a little bit? Yes? It's ripe. No? Buy it anyway, because it's nearly there. Leave it out on a window sill in the kitchen or on a trivet on the kitchen table. It probably won't need more than a full day. Shake it every now and then. Let me know what you think. My family thinks I'm nuts, but they don't turn down the perfectly ripe slices of cantaloupe! pat

                    1. re: rachel hope
                      Brandon Nelson

                      I'm starting a new thread on this Rachel. May 1 head for the top of the board.

                2. re: Allan Evans

                  Perhaps the test is for leaf tenderness as a sign of ripeness, not sweetness. Sort of like picking a raspberry- when the fruit needs to be PULLED off the stem, it is not ripe; when the berry FALLS into the palm of your hand, it is ready for eating.