Fresh pineapples can be sweeter and tastier than canned, but offer few clues to determine when they're at their best. To avoid getting a pineapple that is old, you need to know what to look for.
Step 1: Look for "jets" Look for pineapples with labels or tags that identify them as "jets" or "jet fresh" if you don't live in the Hawaiian tropics. Pineapples don't get any riper than when they're harvested, and are subject to bruises and rot during transit. The freshest pineapples are flown by jet to their destinations.
Step 2: Consider the color Look for bright gold color on the skin's eyes around the base of the pineapple. It is possible for a ripe pineapple to be green, but it is also possible for a green pineapple to not be ripe. If the pineapple is reddish-bronze in color, it is overripe.
TIP: The stem end of the pineapple is the ripest, and the higher up the pineapple the yellow color goes, the more even the flavor will be.
Step 3: Consider the appearance Consider the pineapple's appearance. Wrinkled skin indicates overripe fruit.
Step 4: Smell the pineapple Smell the pineapple at its base. A ripe pineapple will emit a slight, pleasant pineapple aroma. If the pineapple smells of vinegar or acetone, it is beginning to rot.
Step 5: Feel the pineapple Feel the pineapple's skin. A ripe pineapple's skin should be firm and slightly yielding. Mushy skin indicates deterioration.
Step 6: Look for other indicators Avoid buying pineapples showing other signs of deterioration, such as leakage, mold, cracks, gumminess, and brown, withered leaves.