Even though Hawaiian pineapple’s peak season is usually in April and May, they are available year round. There are also pineapples from the Caribbean that are available twice a year, December through February and August through September. The Hawaiian pineapples are by far the best choice to make in the United States when it comes to pineapples. They are normally flown in and arrive at the store 3-4 days after harvest. Caribbean pineapples are normally transported via boat (and/or truck), which means they arrive at the store anywhere between 4 days and 2 weeks after harvest.
This is extremely important since pineapples will not ripen further after harvest. So if you’ve had a pineapple in some tropical place and thought, “wow, this tastes so much better than at home”, its likely not the booze, but the fact that the pineapple was ripened longer before harvest. Because pineapples become more fragile once ripened, distributors must harvest the fruit before peak to protect from the bruising and rot.
Pineapples are an interesting fruit in that it is difficult to tell how ripe it is from the outside, however here are a few tips to help you select the right one:
- Look for the bright yellow/gold color on the skin of the fruit, it should at least be at the base of the fruit. If the color travels upwards towards the leafy stem, the more evenly the pineapple will be flavored.
- Green pineapples could be fully ripe, but they also may not be. It really depends on when it was harvested, but buying a green pineapple is risky.
- Smell the base of the pineapple, it should have a sweet pineapple aroma. If it smells good, it probably tastes good!
- A leaf falling off the top of the fruit isn’t an indictor of ripeness, so unless your concerned about the appearance for presentation purposes, ignore that. However, if all the leaves are dying that is a problem.
- Pineapples should also be firm to the touch.
- And to state the obvious, if it’s leaking, rotting, gummy, brown, rusty, resembles something you hate, or tries to run from you, don’t buy it!