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Aug 16, 2006 08:27 PM

How to determine pineapple ripeness [split from melon ripeness thread]

[The Chowhound Team split this question off from a similar discussion about melons, here:


What about Pineapple?

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  1. By smell. It should smell exactly like you want it to... if it's overripe, it'll smell that way, and if it's underripe, it won't smell at all.

    Colour also works -- no green (works for both yellow and white pineapples, though white are tastier to me).

    1. Pineapples don’t ripen after being picked. For ripeness a pineapple ...

      - should have a pleasant pineapple smell. Avoid if there is an alcoholic smell ... it is overripe
      - is heavy for its size ... it means it is ripe and juicy
      - a yellow color in the eyes around the base. Even in pineapples that are primarily green, the bottom should have some yellow. The stem end develops sugar first. Some people will store the pineapple upside down for a few hours to let the sweet juices distribute through the fruit. Never tried that cuz I’m really not sure how to do this without having the pineapple fall over.

      Even though most people say it doesn’t work, I like to tug a a leaf to see if it comes out easily. I read that somewhere long ago. It makes me feel ‘in the know’. I can’t kick the habit. Of course, an old pineapple’s leaves pull out easily so it might be too ripe.

      With pineapples what is almost as important is what to avoid
      - leaves that are getting yellow or brown.
      - dark or soft spots
      - it just doesn’t look fresh and attractive
      - there is too much give when you press it.
      - that alcohol smell mentioned before. Aroma is the big thing with a pineapple. It usually tastes the way it smells.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        I have the same unshakeable habit. I won't buy a pineapple unless one of the center leaves pull out easily, as you've described. Even if it has no basis in reality.

        Only after I am able to pull out a leave do I pick it up and smell it. As with most fruits, I won't buy it if it doesn't smell ripe and feel heavy for its size. Yes, I'm the one picking up every single watermeon in the bin.

        1. re: Pei

          Watermelon lifting ... it's the Chowhound's version of weight training.

          The watermelon thing reminded me, some people tap pineapples listening for ... well, I'm not really sure, some sort of sound that says the pineapple is full of juice. I never could hear anything different.