Ripe pineapples (flavorful, sweet, how to find the best 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 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.

How to find the best ripe pineapples for flavorful fruit to eat

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.

Here’s how to find the best pineapples

How to find and pick the best pineapples

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. See if there is a little give to the body of the pineapple and not rock hard
  8. The top leaves can easily be pulled off making sure that it is ripe to eat

How to find and pick the best pineapples

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 to find that perfect sweet 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

Here’s 11 benefits to eating Pineapples below

Health benefits to eating pineapples

Check out these other delicious Hawaiian inspired food topics

A complete Hawaii foods guide

Locals love these tasty Hawaiian snacks

Popular Hawaiian dishes you need to try

Traditional Hawaiian food favorite dishes

Comfort foods of Hawaii

Delicious Hawaiian tropical fruits

All about Poke

Hawaiian Spam and recipes

Hawaii chocolate making and tour

Hawaiian style banana bread

Farmers markets in Hawaii

Avocado season in Hawaii

Mango season in Hawaii

Taste fresh lychees in season

Pineapple season in Hawaii

Are you hungry for some ripe pineapples?

Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on ripe pineapples.  Do you have any other tips or suggestions to add to this post – please share in the comment section below thanks again.

I hope you are inspired to plan a visit and enjoy the amazing cuisine of Hawaii. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

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  1. Bola

    Pineapple is my favourite fruit and I’ve now discovered its health benefits. I will need to increase my intake to help me combat arthritis. Thanks for the insight.

    • emorata

      Eating ripe pineapples is good, just watch out for all the acid build up 🙂

  2. Jackie K Smith

    Oh my! I could almost smell those marvelous fruits and my mouth was watering as I read this article. Missing those Hawaiian pineapples!

    • emorata

      Yes ripe pineapples from Hawaii are the best to eat when it is fresh

  3. Jeff & Crystal Bryant

    Being in the Midwest means that we have little chance of getting a truly ripened pineapple. Perhaps some day we will make it to Hawaii and experience the joy of tasting what a real pineapple should be in person.

    • emorata

      Simple things like eating ripe pineapples fresh from the market is one of the best things to enjoy here.

  4. Elaine Masters

    This is such a help! I don’t get my pineapples in Hawaii often enough :-] Picking at local groceries has been disappointing but there’s nothing quite like biting into a juicy, sweet slice. You’ve given me hope!

    • emorata

      Yes just a few simple tips here to finding the ripest pineapples to eat

  5. JoAnn

    Very helpful. I loved getting pinnapple at the farmers market in Hilo. I spent my winters there. Fresh pinnapple is the best. Thank you for all the tips and recipies

    • emorata

      Yes fresh pineapples are so good and you should be picky when you visit the local farmers markets to pick the best of the best there.

      • Carol Colborn

        Thanks for these tips. I have shied away from pineapples because more often than not, they were sour. Now I will try picking the best of the bunch.

        • emorata

          Hopefully you can find some ripe pineapples with these tips.

    • Paulette

      At The Dole Plantation on Oahu, the demonstration of cutting a pineapple included rinsing cut pineapple in water to prevent the acid burn to your mouth.

      • emorata

        What a wonderful tip, thanks for sharing that on preparing the cut pineapple.



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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.