Chowhounds say the best pineapples are bright yellow and plant-ripened, harvested the same morning they’re eaten. “You have to cut them in a bowl because they almost explode like water balloons with sweet juice,” Veggo says. That’s if you’re lucky enough to get one in the tropics. In northern countries, the pineapples in markets are often green and unripe, since it’s hard to ship ripe pineapples. The problem: Pineapples won’t ripen if they’re completely green when you buy them, HoundDogz says. How can you make sure you get a ripe one?
The classic signs of a ripe pineapple are a golden color, sweet aroma, and a leaf that pulls easily from the crown. Large eyes also indicate sweetness, especially if they’re all around the same size, eclecticsynergy says. A perfectly yellow pineapple will be juicy and sweet, but a pineapple with a bit of green can be interesting for its firmness and tartness, HoundDogz adds.
HoundDogz particularly likes Maui pineapples, though they aren’t always available outside of Hawaii; they’re generally mostly or completely yellow in the store, and are worth seeking out.