Outlines how to pick a pineapple to ensure you get a ripe, sweet one straight away – because there is no way to ripen them afterwards. We show you how to pick a good pineapple and the factors to look for to pick a ripe pineapple from an unripe one that will be a disappointment.
Modern children find it hard to believe that pineapples were once considered a sign of luxury and excess. Today all kinds of fruits from tropical countries and the remotest corners of the world can be found in almost every store. But not all pineapples in the store are ripe and good immediately. How to choose pineapple so as not to be disappointed in the taste of the pulp, hidden under a thick skin?
How to pick a pineapple: Overview
It is said that navigator Christopher Columbus discovered not only America, but also the pineapple. Because originally the yellow tropical fruit is native to Brazil and Paraguay. According to stories, native people brought the fruit to Central America and the West Indies. In 1493 it is said to have been presented to Christopher Columbus in Guadeloupe as a gift. Even today, the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality and warmth.
The pineapple (Ananas comosus) feels at home wherever the climate is more tropical or subtropical . It is one of the most widely grown tropical fruits in the world. The best-known areas of origin are Brazil, Central America, West Africa, South Africa and parts of Asia such as the Philippines and Thailand. Ever since whole pineapple plants were shipped from the Caribbean to Europe in the 19th century, the popular fruit has been available in larger quantities and has become more affordable.
The pineapple already looks royal. The fruit is cylindrical to conical and its long lanceolate leaves are reminiscent of a crown. While the pineapple was initially regarded as an exclusive luxury good due to the long transport routes and only reserved for the rich upper class, it is now affordable for everyone. The pineapple’s unique look makes it ideal for hollowed-out use as a vessel for delicious cocktails and fruity drinks.
The pineapple belongs to the bromeliad family , which also includes many house plants. An unbranched inflorescence emerges from a rosette of leaves about 1 meter high , from which the pineapple develops. The term pineapple can be derived from the term “naná”, which means “fruit” in the South American Guaraní language. The pineapple owes the English term “pineapple” to its thick, flaky skin, which is reminiscent of a pine cone.
Colorful range of varieties
The pineapple is characterized by a colorful variety of varieties. It is divided into the 5 groups of varieties Cayenne, Pernambuco, Spanish, Perolera and Queen. There are up to 100 different varieties within these groups. The size, taste and color of pineapples can vary depending on the variety.
A pineapple can grow up to 50 cm high, and actually consists of up to 200 individual fruits , which can be seen by the scale-like eyes on the pineapple peel.
The color spectrum of the pulp ranges from whitish to deep yellow.
The most common pineapple is the cayenne pineapple. Compared to other pineapple varieties, it is relatively heavy at 4 kilograms. It has light yellow flesh and tastes very aromatic. The little sister of the pineapple is the baby pineapple and a special breed within the varieties. It has a particularly intense aroma and usually has a golden yellow skin. It only reaches a size of 12 to 15 cm. It also makes an excellent decorative element.
How to pick a pineapple: Is it possible ripen a pineapple?
It is important to understand in how to choose a pineapple that they cannot be ripened afterwards. So you should only choose one that is already ripe. Since the consumer cannot change the speed of fruit delivery from the place of growth to the store, he has to acquire some knowledge when choosing the pineapple. They help determine the degree of maturity and the quality of the flesh.
In contrast to bananas, which are collected almost green on the plantations and then treated with a special gas on arrival at the destination, which causes the fruit to ripen more quickly, pineapples tend to be cut when they are already ripe. The fact is that in bananas and other fruits, which may ripen after collecting, the formation of sugar occurs due to accumulated starchy substances.
In pineapple they aren’t, and to wait for the green sour fruit to turn sweeter after a while is meaningless. Therefore, on the frequently asked question, “How to ripen the pineapple bought in the store?” You have to give a negative answer: you cannot. If the pineapple is not sweet, it will not help to turn the fruit “upside down”, as is sometimes recommended, neither warm nor in the cold.
You can store pineapples in the refrigerator for 3-6 days, the temperature in this case should not be lower than 6-8 ° C, otherwise the pulp will become watery. In the heat, the fruit cannot be left at all, since the fermentation processes under the skin begin quickly, and the activity of harmful microorganisms intensifies in such conditions.
How to pick a pineapple: the signs to look for
The key factors in how to pick a pineapple, are to look for these signs in the fruit:
- with the maximum green leaf crown
- with a straight, not bulging “body”
- with a predominance of golden yellow in color
When you get close to the ripe fruit, you can smell the characteristic aroma with no signs of acidity or fermentation. When touched, the ripe fruit is dense, elastic, but not soft. Pineapple skin looks almost flat, not bulbous. Immature pineapples can be determined by these signs:
- more convex fragments on the surface of the skin
- through herbal, not fruit, flavor
- a firm but not resilient flesh
Pineapple producers insist that full-colored green fruits can be sweet, but choosing a pineapple with at least a slight yellow tint will leave the buyer happier.
Key factors in how to pick a pineapple are that ripe pineapples give a soft, tangy or yeast-tones smell, a color change from yellow to bronze. Once the maximum amount of sugar possible has accumulated in the pineapple, the fruit becomes prone to rot. Because pineapples are treated with fungicides and other substances that prevent spoilage before they come off the plantations, moldy spots or excessive softening of the cortex cannot be detected. But within the rash, damaged or frozen during the transportation of the fruit, destructive processes are already underway.
The ripening of the pineapple begins with its bottom. In this part, the fruit is always sweeter, so the color of the ripe fruit begins to change from there and moves upwards. In most varieties, ripeness can be seen as bright golden yellow shades on the skin, at least on its fragments around the base of the fruit. The higher the yellow color, the more uniform the sweetness of the pineapple.
Can you determine the ripeness by looking at the leaves?
When talking about how to choose pineapple, many people mention the option of pulling out some leaf from the crown on the top of the fruit. If the leaf is easily separated, the pineapple is considered to be ripe. Unfortunately, this opinion is wrong. And pulling the leaves off the fruit in the shop will only cause trouble, if you do not buy it.
Preserved preservation leaves of pineapple naturally dry out during travel and storage, but do not change color. Therefore, it is possible to easily spoil the goods, but there is no useful information about pineapples. But the change in the color of the foliage from green to brown or the complete drying of the tufts testifies to the inadmissible long-term finding of the fruits on the counter or to the violation of the storage rules.
In steps for how to pick a pineapple, is it best to look for a lush crown or a modest rosette of leaves? As a rule, it is best to buy pineapples with a crown at least 10 cm high, but no more than two lengths of the pineapple body itself.
Sometimes pineapple rosettes with leaf patterns are used to decorate the table at formal events or dinner parties. In this case, you can keep the freshness of the leaves for a few days if the rosette is carefully cut from the fruit, cleaned from traces of pulp and packed in a bag in the refrigerator.
In the steps for how to pick a pineapple, it is worthwhile to examine not only the fruit itself and its tuft of leaves, but also the place of the cut of the stem. If it is uneven, excessively elongated, or with mold spots, it is better to choose another pineapple.
Nutritional values of pineapple: Low in calories, but not fat-burning. Pineapple burns fat – this myth is common. It’s not that simple, however. According to this, the enzyme bromelain is said to promote fat burning in the enzyme diet. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this assumption.
Before the enzyme can work in the adipose tissue, the enzyme is digested and, at the latest, broken down into individual parts in the intestine so that it can no longer develop its effect. Rather, the pineapple contains a lot of fructose, which even promotes fat build-up . Unfortunately, the exotic does not melt our love handles.
The tropical fruit is definitely better for the figure than a piece of chocolate. With 55 kilocalories per 100 grams, the pineapple contains few calories . It has no protein and very little fat. Thanks to the fiber it contains , the fruit is relatively filling compared to other types of fruit .
Pineapple is a good choice if you want a balanced and healthy diet. The tropical fruit provides you with around 20 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams – about a fifth of the daily requirement of an adult. Pineapple also contains many important minerals and trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and zinc.
How to prepare a pineapple
When you cut a pineapple, there is a lot of waste. But it’s definitely worth the effort if you can enjoy the delicious sweet flesh of the tropical fruit afterwards. The most valuable part of the pineapple is located directly under the peel.
Small, brown spots called eyes should also be cut away. The hard stalk is very woody and fibrous when raw. You can either throw it away or process it further. Boil it briefly in hot water until soft and then puree it with a little pineapple juice until creamy. You can use the puree for delicious sorbets or cocktails.
Steps to cut a pineapple (see photo steps below)
- To get the delicious flesh, first lay the pineapple sideways on a cutting board and cut off the top with a sharp knife.
- Now cut the lower part of the pineapple straight off with a sharp knife.
- Now stand it upright and cut the peel down lengthways so that you also remove the eyes of the fruit.
- Halve and quarter the pineapple lengthways . Place the quarters on the cutting board and remove the core.
- Then you can cut the pineapple into bite-sized pieces and enjoy.
Cut decorative pineapple rings
- If you want to get beautiful pineapple rings in a particularly uncomplicated way, you should get yourself a pineapple cutter.
- Simply cut off the head of the pineapple and screw the pineapple cutter into the fruit from above.
- Then pull out the pineapple cutter. There is no quicker way to get pretty pineapple rings without a stem – unless they are canned.
- But even without a pineapple cutter, you can get pretty pineapple rings with a little more effort.
- To do this, remove the crested, lower end and skin as described above and then cut the pineapple into slices.
- you can remove the woody core with a round cookie cutter.
How to grill pineapple
After an extensive grill dinner with steaks and the like, are you looking for a sweet dessert? Then leave the grill on right away and place fruity pineapple rings on the grill. Especially in summer, the desire for a fruity dessert is often greater than for a chocolate cake.
- Brush pineapple rings with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and grill for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- After the grilling time, you can drizzle the pineapple with 2 tablespoons of honey and enjoy delicious grilled, sweet pineapple.
How to freeze pineapple
You peeled and cut a pineapple, but you can’t eat it all so quickly? No problem – pineapples can be frozen wonderfully. To do this, place the peeled pineapple pieces in a freezer bag and defrost them later if necessary. Frozen chunks of pineapple can go straight into smoothies without being thawed out!
With the frozen fruits you can also conjure up delicious smoothie bowls, sorbets or quick fruit ice cream. Mix the frozen pineapple pieces with a dash of milk in a food processor or high-performance mixer until creamy. There is no faster way to get your homemade ice cream! How to make green smoothie recipes: 8 recipes
If you want to enjoy the pineapple aroma to the full, you should definitely reach for a fresh pineapple. Their delicious, fruity aroma can hardly be compared with that of canned pineapple. In addition, only the fresh pineapple offers you the valuable ingredients of the tropical fruit.
Use canned pineapple in recipes with milk
Canned pineapple is particularly practical because it saves you the annoying peeling process, but you have to make compromises in other areas. The canned pineapple has more calories due to the addition of sugar and contains fewer vitamins than the fresh variant.
In combination with milk, however, the canned pineapple is more advisable. The enzyme bromelain quickly breaks down milk proteins into amino acids and so-called peptides, which, in combination with fresh pineapple and milk products, can create a bitter taste.
The enzyme is no longer active in the usually heated canned pineapple because it is sensitive to heat . You should therefore prepare desserts or cakes with milk content with canned pineapple or scald them with hot water beforehand, which will destroy important vitamins. If you want to mix fresh pineapple with your yogurt or a quark dish, you should add the fruit pieces just before consumption .
Pineapple juice – strength for the immune system
Provide your body with important nutrients and treat yourself to a glass of freshly squeezed pineapple juice every now and then – your health will thank you! The high vitamin and nutrient content is said to have positive effects on the immune system. Its anti-inflammatory effects are said to relieve colds, coughs, and sore throats. Peel and cut the fresh pineapple as described above and put the pineapple pieces in a blender. Puree them to the desired consistency and sweeten the pineapple juice as you like.