The English named the exceedingly juicy, sweet-tart pineapple for its resemblance to a pinecone. A favorite tropical fruit,
it’s grown primarily in Hawaii.
Season: Year-round; peak March through June.
How to Choose Pineapples
Color does not indicate ripeness—depending on variety, the prickly, diamond-patterned exterior may be green, yellow, or orange. Look for bright green leaves that pull out easily. Skip fruit with soft spots or yellow leaves. Once you find a healthy contender, sniff the bottom. A floral scent means that the fruit is in its prime. A fermented odor could mean that it’s rotten. No smell may mean that it’s underripe. (A pineapple will soften on a counter, but it won’t get any sweeter.) Squeeze the pineapple, too. If it yields slightly, it’s ready to eat. If you’re selecting a pineapple for cooking, pick one that’s firm.
How to Store Pineapples
Changes in temperature cause soft, dark spots, so if the fruit was at room temperature when you bought it, keep it on a counter out of the sun. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days. If it was peeled and refrigerated at the store, stow it in the refrigerator, where it will be good for up to 4 days. Cut pineapple will last for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
How to Prepare Pineapples
Remove a thick slice from the top and bottom with a serrated knife, then cut away the skin from the top downward. Remove the eyes with a small paring knife. If you want rings, make slices, then cut out the core with a round cookie cutter. If you want chunks, cut the pineapple into quarters, cut out the core, and trim the skin.
—Melinda Page and Charlyne Mattox
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.