Friday, July 1, 2011
I just finished cutting up a fresh pineapple. After our trips to Hawai'i, I really became a fan of this fruit; whereas before that, I could take it or leave it. It's true that the pineapple on the island is amazingly sweet, but sometimes on the mainland we find it more tart.
So, I've been buying fresh pineapple since our trips and every time they are absolutely delicious. I think $2.99 is a good price, however I've gotten them for $.99 when they are really ripe and the store is trying to get rid of them.
Here are some tips that I use when selecting a pineapple. I'm no expert, but this is what has worked for me.
1. Don't buy canned pineapple. Ick. Uck. Doesn't even taste like pineapple.
2. Select a fruit that is yellow towards the base. It may still have green & brown pigments too, but it needs to have yellow showing through. If it doesn't have yellow, it isn't ripe and it will be more firm and less sweet.
3. The fruit should have a slight scent. Not too much. The yellow is more important than the scent.
4. Do not cut into the pineapple right when you get home. Don't put it in the fridge either.As tempting as it may be, it isn't ready.
5. Turn the pineapple upside down for a few days on the counter. This allows gravity to pull the juice/nectar/sweetness towards the top. You will notice the color of the pineapple will lighten, becoming more yellow.
6. As the pineapple ripens, the scent will grow stronger. Use your best guess as to when to cut the pineapple. I like to see that the yellow has spread and the scent is strong. Cut the pineapple carefully, so as to save all the fruit. I'm not a fan of the pineapple-cutter-gadgets because no two pineapples are alike, so you may be discarding good fruit.
Click here for great instructions on cutting it up. I actually do it a little different, but you'll get the point.
We use pineapples in smoothies, in fruit salads, in quesadillas, on kabobs, and on grilled chicken sandwiches even! And if it looks like we aren't going to eat all the fruit, I put it in a baggy and freeze it for smoothies later.
Oh how I love summer fruit!