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Pineapples

Berkeley Bowl, Monterey Market, Andronico's, and Whole Foods all have only those nasty low-acid "Gold" pineapples.

Where can I find normal pineapples? Is this a seasonal thing?

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  1. I don't think this is a seasonal thing, but rather a switch to growing the low acid pineapples. I've had trouble finding normal pineapples in stores in SF and also in Hawaii and online. I did find some last year online to send my daughter but it wasn't easy. I was looking for organic pineapples and expected that they wouldn't be low acid, but most were. Finally, I talked to a farm in Hawaii that shipped normal pineapples but I don't remember the name of the farm now.

    1. I've rarely had a decent organic pineapple, tend to avoid them.

      We were finding normal pineapples until maybe a month ago.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        My daughter's report, also, was that the organic pineapples were not wonderful. However, with other products I have started with organic early and the quality has improved. For me, to buy organic or not is a dilemma with some products because I want to eat organic and I want to support those growing organic but also eat the highest quality products. Organic is usually higher quality than conventional now (at least in the Bay Area where so much organic produce is grown locally) so it doesn't come up as much as it did.

        1. re: reneesf

          Most of the best local produce is organic, but we don't grow pineapples.

      2. Pineapple season (in Hawaii) is March through July, with the peak in April/May. Caribbean Pineapples have two seasons: August through September and December through February but I don't think they make it to the SF area. Pineapples are also cultivated in Central America and Africa, but I don't know if we get any of those fresh in the US either.

        I have a guess as to why you are finding only low-acid pineapples. First, it's not pineapple season, and to meet demand the pineapples have to be picked and shipped, probably before they are ripe. If a pineapple is picked too early, it's starches won't fully convert to sugars and the higher acid varieties will taste sour. The lower acid ones are still palatable even if they aren't as ripe and sweet as they could be.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Non Cognomina

          Thanks for the info on the seasons.

          Maybe I'll try the Central American-run grocers in SF.

          1. re: Non Cognomina

            Good info - thanks!

            No good pineapples until Dec?

            1. re: Non Cognomina

              So, basically, for Bay Area we should just bear in mind springtime is when to buy Pineapples.

              1. re: Non Cognomina

                OK, should be peak season for Hawaiian pineapples. Has anyone seen any non-"gold" ones?

                I got excited the other day when I saw a sign for "conventional pineapples" at Whole Foods, but of course they just meant not organic.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  This is pretty sad, but I find myself shopping for other Chowhounds. So if I'm in some little market I check out the pineapples. Every market I've stepped into from Vallejo to Berkeley sells gold pineapples ... from the biggies to the corner mexican market.

                  Anyway, I saw some, I think, at Grocery Outlet. The word 'gold' was nowhere to be seen on the tag. They were in pretty poor condition though so didn't mention it to get your hopes up.

                  Did you ever try those mini pineapples from South Africa?

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    It's...creepy. Where are the real pineapples? You're right, this *is* pineapple season. Berkeley Bowl had lots of varieties last year and now they're all "Golds". I asked a produce guy there last week or the week before and he walked me to a table near the end of the onions and...nope: gold.

                    1. re: MollyGee

                      Oh yeah, the Bowl is amazing. They must have 20 varieties of pineapples: different sizes, different countries from all over the globe ... all "gold."

                      The real pineapples may have gone to produce heaven with corn and nectarines.

                      If were rich I'd open a produce store called The Fruit Nazi. Gold pineapples? No fruit for you! Come back one year!

                2. Don't know about the west coast, but here in the northeast nearly all our pineapples are from the Dole mega-farms in Costa Rica and they're just vile. Makes me crazy. I go to Central America fairly often and the pineapples in Honduras, Belize, Guatemala are all terrific. We just don't get them here. Dole seems to have the market entirely sewn up. A couple of years ago we'd get "jet fresh" pineapples from Hawaii when they were in season, and they were quite good. But it's been a long time since I've seen a Hawaiian pineapple in Manhattan.

                  1. Most of the large-scale growers (Del Monte, Dole, etc.) plant exclusively low-acid varieties now, so you're unlikely to find anything else outside of smaller-scale venues. Sadly...