How to find the best ripe pineapples for flavorful fruit to eat
Pineapples are one of the most delicious and nutritious Hawaiian fruit to eat and that’s if you find the best and ripe pineapple so eat right away – but how do you actually find the perfect pineapple and what should you be looking for during pineapple season?
Here’s an inside tip on how to find just the right pineapple and how to make sure you pick the best fruit to eat. Also, check out these cool pineapple recipes on using pineapples in your dishes.
Why eat the fresh pineapples in Hawaii?
Ripe pineapples in Hawaii are unlike any other fresh tropical fruit with amazing ripe smells, beautiful color and of course the delicious sweet fruit. You can experience both yellow or white pineapples grown on the island and have a relatively long harvest season all summer starting late May to September time frame. Fresh pineapples from the farmers market, fruit stand or grocery stores sell the freshest pineapples ready to eat or use in a variety of sweet or savory recipes.
Dilemma of not quite ripe pineapples
True that pineapples that are already picked and ready for sale needs to be fully ripe to eat and that picked ones that are not ripe enough can be bitter, sour and not as sweet as you expected.
Here’s how to find the best pineapples
A good-looking pineapple doesn’t always translate into sweet and ready to eat fruit. Most pineapples are picked green because of shipping and logistics and when they are clumped together and exposed to ethylene gas, start to turn yellow, but this doesn’t ensure you are getting a ripe fruit inside. So, picking a fruit at your local grocery or fruit stand doesn’t always mean the fruit is ready to eat and delicious but there ways you can spot the best pineapples in the bunch that might be the tastiest to eat that is available.
How to find and pick the best pineapples
- Color is one indicator to ripeness, although there are green varieties of pineapples that actually don’t change color and is ready to eat. Look at the base of the pineapple fruit for a nice golden color and turning but not past dark burnt colors. Any pineapples that are very orange and turning brown in spots is already past ripening and is starting to rot
- Check the leaves or pineapple tops to see that they are a bright green and not brown or dried out which is past its stage at this point.
- Check for the texture of the pineapple – make sure that it isn’t too soft to the touch or mushy just soft to the touch and not rock hard
- Smell the pineapple – you’ll smell a sweet juicy aroma. Once you start to smell musty or off smells then it probably is over ripe so pass up on those. If you smell from the bottom where the juices are concentrated, you’ll know if it is still young and green, overripe and past it’s prime or just right and sweet smelling
- Feel for weight and not bulk – a heavy pineapple is loaded with juicy and fruit that will be a good indicator of something ready to eat
- Check the skin to see if it is not cracked or leaking, browning including the tops and the eyes are all developed and filled out
How to find that perfect sweet pineapple
Always follow your nose and the scent is the real gauge to sweetness. No smell and it is still young and not developed, too musty and smelly and it is over ripe. The just right sweet and aromatic smells will give you a good indication of bright and fresh fruit along with the other observing techniques above to helping you choose the best and ready to eat pineapple.
How long does it take a pineapple to ripen on the plant?
Typically, it will take about 16 months for a pineapple to ripen and get close to picking. Pineapples should be harvested when they are close to being ripe because technically, they cannot ripen any further. In transition to the market, they will start to turn color and soften but this as noted above will not always give the tastiest fruit to eat.
Some tricks of the trade to try to get your pineapple to ripen evenly
Even though a pineapple is not able to develop any more flavors or sweetness there are a few other things to try
Take of the top and flip the pineapple upside down to get the bottom juices to flow to the crown and distribute the juices and flavors around the pineapple
Take a paper bag and add the pineapple along with bananas, apples or peaches that will leak Ethylene gas which helps to ripen the pineapple faster. Check this in a day to see if there are more ripening factors like softening, color change or smell that makes it feasible to open and eat or keep it in the bag for awhile.
Best way to cut up the pineapple fruit
There are a variety of ways to cut a pineapple from easiest to most unique, check out these techniques
- Easiest way is to just cut in half and then lengthwise into slices to eat naturally
- To cut into slice fruit cut off the top and bottom and then trim off the skin thinly to expose the eyes. You can cut out the eyes diagonally (cut off each remaining exposed eye) and then cut the fruit into half and then quarters and slice off the think core in each section. Then just cut small chunks from each quarter to bite size pieces and store
Here’s an easy to follow video on how to do it fast
For an more unique approach, check out this video and see if you can actually try this on ripe fruit.
How to store your pineapples after ripened
Once you have ripe fruit it is best cut up and not stored whole in the fridge. Cut up the fruit into bite size pieces and store in a glad bag or Tupperware and place in the fridge where it can last to about a week before it starts to get too ripe to eat.
Health benefits to eating pineapples
This wonder fruit is has an impressive array of health benefits and can also be used in making some amazing sweet to savory dishes or eaten raw. Not only are pineapples delicious but they are loaded with nutrients, fiber and vitamins for this amazing fruit that includes:
Loaded with vitamin C, B6, A, K, iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese, Calcium, Zinc and Potassium
Contains disease fighting anti-oxidants known as flavonoids and phenolic acids and produce longer lasting effects on the body
Helps with relieve symptoms of arthritis and boosts your immunity and suppress inflammation.
Reduces the risk of cancer with its compounds mainly bromelain which helps to suppress cancer in the skin and other internal systems of the body.
Has digestive enzymes that help to break down proteins into smaller building blocks that are easily absorbed into the small intestine.
Eases Arthritis symptoms
Check out these other delicious Hawaiian inspired food topics
Are you hungry for some ripe pineapples?
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