How to select a pineapple that is at the peak of ripeness

Fresh fruits have the finest flavor and texture when at the peak of ripeness. Here is how to pick the perfect pineapple.

Pineapple is one of the most difficult fruits to produce for many reasons. For peak flavor the fruit must be harvested when ripe rather than slightly unripe, as many fruits are traditionally shipped, because the majority of tropical fruits will not ripen once harvested. In addition to the very short market life of this fruit a properly harvested pineapple bruises quite easily, thus further complicating its production for market. Sales locations that are nearest the growing and distribution areas are more likely to provide a fresh product. For these reasons, among others, the pineapple is one of the most expensive fruits in the produce aisles.

When you choose to treat yourself to this sweet and juicy delicacy it is important that you get the finest fruit available. Selecting a ripe pineapple is actually quite easy.

As with all fruits, be sure to exclude any item that has soft spots or visible damage to the rind.

Unlike many fruits, you will not want to choose a pineapple that has a strong, sweet smell because these fruits are overripe and likely to have begun to ferment.

Once you have found a good candidate, grasp one of the inner leaves of the crown of the fruit and give a light tug straight up from the top of the fruit. Do not pull it sideways at all. If the leaf comes out easily, your pineapple is ripe and ready to go. You may want to compare the 'tug' of a few different fruits before you make your final decision.