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Jun 27, 2008 01:46 PM

Where do I find tart (i.e. acidic) pineapples?

About a year ago, my brother requested a sweet and sour shrimp dish which I had not made for him since I moved to Florida. I made it, using fresh pineapple, but the pineapple did not have the acidity to counteract the sweetness of the dish. The problem was not a lack of vinegar, but rather, that the chunky, high-note accents of acidity in the pineapple were missing.

I learned that I had used a "super sweet" pineapple hybrid, which has a sweetness level which I associate with canned pineapple in heavy syrup. Since that time, each time that I have had to use fresh pineapple in a dish, the only kind I can find in the markets (under many different brand names) are these super sweet varieties.

Can anyone answer for me either, or both, of these questions: (1) What are the names of the non-super sweet varieties? and (2) Where can I find them? (I am not necessarily asking for a specific location in Florida, but rather, generically, where would I find them? They don't seem to exist at local fruit stands or grocery stores anymore.)

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  1. Pineapples that are allowed to ripen fully before picking will be sweeter than those picked before they are fully ripened. However, the trade-off is that those picked before being fully ripened are less tender (sometimes woody). As far as I know, there are only a few varieties of pineapple. All I can suggest is that you avoid anything with the word "sweet", "gold or golden" in the name.

    1. gfr1111 ... I could have written this post! I don't think the pineapple that you and I remember from our childhood exists in the grocery store anymore. I would love to have someone prove me wrong. I don't even think picking a "super sweet" while unripe will make it taste tarter.