If you are visiting any of the Hawaiian Islands and enjoy pineapple you should definitely indulge while you’re here. Like many fruits, pineapples that are picked at the height of their ripeness don’t travel as well as those picked earlier. So when you’re here buy at one of our farmers markets or local fruit stands and enjoy them at the height of their sweetness. But this is a fruit you can also take home if it’s properly handled. You’ll see boxed offering and can ask any seller how it needs to be packed for your journey home.
Choosing a ripe, sweet Golden Pineapple
Unless you have the good fortune to buy one of our rare white pineapples (and pay the $25 price tag for that gourmet treat!) you’ll be shopping for a golden pineapple. Whether you are on the islands or shopping at home, there are clues to selecting a pineapple that is ripe and sweet. And there are easy ways to avoid fruits that are past their prime.
Here are some tips to pick out a delicious, ripe pineapple.
Compare weights to choose the sweeter fruit. A pineapple that is heavier compared to other pineapples the same size is probably a sweeter fruit. That’s because sugar weighs more than water, hence a really sweet fully ripened pineapple is heavier than an unripe pineapple of the same size.
Avoid fruit that has with brown or withering leaves. The leaves should be nice and firm, not limp and not dry.
Look for a pineapple with a yellow-gold color near its bottom. You should see the yellow on the eyes around the base of the fruit. If you don’t see that color at its base that pineapple is definitely not ripe! Don't worry if it doesn't extend all the way to the top though.
The yellow should be bright or golden but not brownish. Brown or dull coloring can indicate the pineapple is old or poor quality.
Sniff it! There should be a mild pineapple aroma near the base of the fruit. But still use appearance as your primary guide in choosing a fruit. Even pineapples that are old or lower quality may smell ripe.
Avoid fruit that is wrinkled or soft. Those are signs it is past its prime.
Three pineapples that are good examples of ripe, sweet fruit!
See the healthy leaves and bright yellow extending up from the base?
You can enjoy the best quality pineapples by choosing wisely while you’re here in Hawaii or getting the freshest fruit from your local markets.
I hope these tips help you enjoy picking the best of one of Hawaii’s most popular fruits!