Gotta love a ripe pineapple! Really mouthwatering and juicy, and best of all it really packs a punch!
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It may sound cheesy, but to me eating a ripe pineapple is just like spending a brief moment in some tropical paradise.
But these days fruits tend to hit the store shelves before they’ve had the chance to fully ripen. Instead the consumer (that’s you and me) has to ripen their favorite fruit at home.
But unlike fruits such as apples, pears, and bananas, etc.; pineapples, unfortunately, don’t ripen on their own once they’ve been picked from the plant.
So you can’t just wait around for the fresh pineapple to ripen on its own - it just won’t happen.
And this means we must take the ripening into our own hands and handle it ourselves.
But don’t worry, here we’re going to tell you how you can ripen a pineapple at home. It’s a cakewalk.
But we’re going to kick this off by talking about the vitamins and minerals in pineapple, why you shouldn’t eat unripe pineapple, why pineapples don’t ripen on their own, and then we’ll start looking into how to pick a good pineapple at peak ripeness in the first place.
Then, of course, we’ll follow that up with several tips for ripening your pineapple. And we’re going to top that off with some tips for storing your pineapple long term, before wrapping up with a conclusion.
Vitamins And Minerals In Pineapple
Pineapples are a powerhouse for several different healthy vitamins and such. This includes vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants.
But perhaps most importantly, there’s the enzyme known as Bromelain. This helps to break down proteins in your food, and it also has anti-inflammatory properties to boot!
Why You Shouldn’t Eat Unripe Pineapple
Please Read. Unripe pineapples may not only taste bad; they can also be poisonous. Eating it can leave a burning effect in your mouth, cause throat irritation, and have a strong laxative effect.
But it’s not all bad news - if you have already bought a pineapple that’s not completely ripe, you can make it safe to eat if you follow the pineapple ripening procedures we’ll be showing you very shortly.
Why Pineapples Don’t Ripen On Their Own
Some fruits will continue to ripen once they are picked and some will not.
Pineapples aren’t the only fruits with this affliction (if you want to call it that). Examples include grapes, grapefruit, and watermelons, though there are many more.
In order to move from being mature, as in physiologically ready to ripen, to being ripe, fruits must be able to convert their starch to sugar, so that they can be made edible with peak flavor and texture.
But certain fruits are unable to carry out this process when they have been removed from the plant it grew from.
In the case of pineapples, this is because in plucking the pineapple, you are effectively removing its supply of starch.
How to pick a good pineapple
You’re in luck, we’ve got 5 great tips for you on how to pick your perfect pineapple!
Don’t buy pineapples that have a green base, because these won’t ripen at all. Instead, you should choose one that has an orange or a yellow tint. Don't buy a green pineapple.
These will eventually ripen provided that you follow procedures like the ones we’ll be showing you later.
Don’t buy pineapples that have brown spots This is a rot-like stain on the skin.
You should also check that the leaves are not stained either, they should look fresh and green. Avoid these overripe pineapples.
You should look for a pineapple that is firm, but not very hard. Ideally, it should be a little supple.
We recommend that you go for a larger pineapple since these will have more edible content inside.
Smell the pineapple before you buy it.
If it smells like pineapple, then that’s great, but if it smells off, or smells like another kind of fruit, then don’t buy it.
And now we can move onto ripening your delicious pineapple…
How To Ripen Your Pineapple
There are several factors that can affect your pineapple’s ripening.
These include how it’s stored, and how it’s positioned. We’ll tackle each factor separately, giving you 4 great tips. Here goes…
Store your pineapple with fruits that do ripen once they are picked. This works because these other fruits emit ethylene.
And what this does is help to turn the starch in your pineapple into sugar to ripen them.
You can also store your pineapple, with the ripening fruits, in a clear bag or a paper bag at room temperature.
You should see results in just a few days.
Alternatively, you could try ripening your pineapple by keeping it in a jar of rice.
A great way to help ripen your pineapple is to place it upside down, balancing on its leaves, and with the base facing the air.
This works because it helps the flow of sugars through the pineapple.
And, moreover, it also helps to prevent the pineapple from rotting before its time.
Storing Your Pineapple Long Term
If you don’t intend to eat your pineapple in the next few days, perhaps if you want to keep it for a special occasion, then we recommend storing it in a refrigerator, where it can keep for up to an impressive 6 months.
This is because if you leave pineapples out at room temperature for too long, they can start to ferment.
When storing your pineapple in a refrigerator, you should keep it whole and not slice or dice it. This is because once cut, it starts to soak up the smell of the other foods in the refrigerator.
Pineapples are a great tasting fruit, but to get the perfect taste from your fruit it pays to know how to get it to the best that it can be. Use them in a Pina Colada, fruit salad, pineapple salsa, try grilled pineapple, or just drink fresh pineapple juice.
You have to start by picking the best possible pineapple, to begin with, but you also have to give some thought to how you’re going to store it, as this will have the biggest impact on it’s ripening.
As we mentioned earlier, a pineapple once picked, like many other fruits, cannot ripen on its own, and if you eat unripened pineapple you will see some nasty toxic effects.
But by this point, we’ve provided you with enough tips to ensure you’re bound to get that perfect tropical pineapple taste you’ve been craving!