How To Choose The Right Pineapple

Ever had that craving for juicy, delicious, fresh pineapple but never knew how to pick one that would satisfy your craving? Well, here are three simple steps to make sure that you pick the absolutely perfect one.

1. Smell it

You may look like a weirdo in the aisles of the grocery store when you stick your nose into the spiky exterior of a pineapple, but that is always step one in determining whether you've made a good choice. If the pineapple is at its peak freshness, it will have an odor, and that odor will be sweet and fragrant. If the odor coming from the pineapple smells too sweet and almost alcoholic, put it back. (It's past its peak and won't taste good when you eat it.)

2. Look at it

Pineapples have lots of odd features. A lot of them can give you clues as to when it's ready to eat like its color, shape and leaves.

The color of a ripe pineapple will range from green to golden-yellow. A green pineapple doesn't necessarily mean it's unripe, but a browning pineapple indicates that the fruit has gone past its peak and it should be thrown away. Other indicators of a bad pineapple are cracks, flaking and leaking. Who would want to eat something that looks like that anyway, right? Gross!

Ripeness should also be visible in the shape of the pineapple. It should be rounded out and the "eyes" which are the centers of the circles on the exterior of the pineapple should be relatively flat to the body. Leaf color is the last thing to look at. The leaves should be green, not brown. This indicates a healthy fruit.

3. Feel it up

Touch the pineapple all over! Squeeze it, weigh it, pull at it. Make sure it is firm (not hard) and heavy. More weight equals more juice, yum! Pull the leaves from the center of the fruit. If they are easy to pull off, this means your pineapple is ready to be eaten.

If your first choice is lucky enough to follow all of the characteristics of a healthy, ripe pineapple, take it home and enjoy.

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