How To Choose A Ripe Pineapple
If you have a hard time picking a ripe pineapple, you are certainly not alone. It is voted as one of the most difficult fruits to choose by consumers of both sexes and all ages. The tricky thing about pineapples is not only can you not see the flesh, once it is picked, it does not continue to ripen. Pineapples are always the sweetest on the actual day that they are picked and then slowly, the fruit's sugars turn acidic.
While you would think that growers would always have the consumer in mind and pick a pineapple on the perfect day since they are fully aware that they won't continue to ripen, a lot of times they don't. Most consumers are visually stimulated and purchase based on appearance. Of course, many growers know this and pick their pineapples right before they ripen because then they are less likely to bruise during transport. This allows them to look their best for a longer period of time.
Steps For Choosing a Ripe Pineapple
- First you should examine the color. A ripe pineapple will be a golden yellow color, starting at the fruit's base and working its way up. As a rule, the base should be more yellow. However, you should know that there are some varieties that are a bit green when ripe. Regardless of color, the crown should look appealing and dark green, never dry or wilted.
- Examine the base of the fruit. It should not be dry but rather a little bit moist. This is the location where the fruit would be attached to the plant by a stem. If your pineapple is fresh and has been picked recently, this area will yield to pressure and be moist.
You can use your nose to pick a ripe pineapple too. It should always smell fresh, fruity and sweet. If it barely smells, it’s unripe and if it offers a fermented odor, it is spoiling. Additionally, a spoiled pineapple will often display white foam on it, primarily on the base.
- Give your pineapple a gentle squeeze test. It should be firm yet yield slightly to pressure, never hollow or soft. If it gives too much when you squeeze it or you actually poke your finger through it, obviously it should be avoided.
- Evaluate the size. A fresh plant yields a larger pineapple. Every year after, the fruit gets smaller. This is still good fruit but it serves a better purpose used in juice. New plants are usually planted for harvest every four years or so.
Buying a ripe pineapple offers the most health benefits as well including vitamin A, vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium and potassium. It also contains proteolytic enzyme bromelain that helps with protein digestion. Because of this content, pineapples can prevent blood clots from forming. Below is a list of health issues that a ripe pineapple can help treat.
- Chronic digestive disturbance (dyspepsia).
- Inflammation of your bronchial tubes, commonly referred to as bronchitis.
- Treatment of an enlarged thyroid gland.
- Secretions from mucous membranes (catarrh).
- High blood pressure.
- Arthritis and other joint diseases.
- Removal of intestinal worms.
- Fight off throat infections.
- Prevents nausea, including motion and morning sickness.
- Alleviates constipation.
Fun Pineapple Facts
- After Christopher Columbus discovered pineapple on Guadalupe and took some home to Spain, sailors began eating them to prevent against scurvy.
- Pineapples take approximately 18 months to grow.
- You can't add fresh pineapple to Jell-O because it won't set. Canned pineapple is fine because the canning process actually destroys the bromelain content.
- In 1911, the pineapple peeler was invented by Henry Ginaca. It allowed for 35 pineapples to be cored per minute.