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If you want to know about pineapples beyond being exotic Christmas decorations or canned fruits, check out this post.

After having tasted fresh pineapples, perhaps you never want to eat canned ones again. Who knows, you may become addicted to fresh pineapples...

Over time, I've picked up some pineapple selecting skills from talking to farmers, fruit vendors and buying them.

Here are 8 tips on how to select a good pineapple.

1. Pineapple Skin Color

Pineapples are green when they're young. As the fruit ripens, the dark green skin turns golden yellow. If you want to eat the pineapple right away, select one with some yellow color on the skin. This is the general rule. However, keep in mind that some pineapple breeds are ripe even when the skin is still green.

Note that a white powdery texture around the pineapple eyes shows that the fruit is still young.

Phuket, Pu-Lae and Pattawia are common pineapple breeds grown in Thailand.
Here are three of the most common pineapples that are grown in Thailand. From left to right: Phuket pineapple, Pu-Lae pineapple and Pattawia pineapple. The first two breeds are crispy, while the Pattawia pineapple is succulent.

2. Pineapple Shapes

Depending on the breed, pineapples can be either roundish or oblong. A good roundish breed should be plump while a quality oblong breed should be evenly shaped.

Make sure you choose a roundish pineapple that is plump, which indicates that the meat is evenly distributed throughout the fruit. On the other hand, if the pineapple is fat at the bottom and thin towards the top, that often means that the meat is of poor quality. In this case, when the pineapple ripens, the top part may still be unripe.

3. Pineapples With Big Even Eyes

Aromatic Gold is a new breed of pineapples grown in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand.
Homsuwan or Aromatic Gold pineapple is a new breed, developed by TIPCO in Thailand.

Each round patch of pineapple skin is called an eye. When a pineapple is young, the eyes are very close together. As the fruit is ready to be harvested, there will be more space between the eyes.

Moreover, pineapples with big even eyes, all over the whole fruit, are good. Make sure there are no cracks in the eyes since it can be a sign that it's rotten.

4. Pineapple Sizes

Size doesn't matter when it comes to selecting a good pineapple, and there is no guarantee that a big pineapple is sweet and juicy.

If you buy pineapples in Thailand during the right season, that is from March to May, even tiny pineapples can be delicious.

5. Pineapple Weight

Select heavy pineapples since they usually have good quality meat, while light ones are not as juicy.

6. Pineapple Aroma

When you can smell a fresh fruity aroma from the bottom of the pineapple, that means the fruit is ripe. But if the pineapple smells like vinegar, that's a sign it's overripe or rotten.

7. Snapping The Pineapple With A Finger

Most farmers know how to choose a good pineapple this way, although in my eyes it's a difficult technique. You get different sounds when you snap a finger on a good pineapple that is ripe and juicy, as opposed to a dry one. With the juicy pineapple, the sound will be similar to what you hear when you snap a finger on your cheek.

In contrast, if you snap your finger on pineapple that has dry meat, you get a hollow sound.

8. Pineapple Skin

Prachuap Khiri Khan grow the most Pattawia pineapples in Thailand.
Both pineapples in this photo are good, but the Pattawia pineapple to the right is a bit overripe. You can tell by the soggy-looking meat on both sides of the fruit.

Since the pineapple skin is thick, it's quite difficult to notice any bruises. However, you can feel them when handling the fruit. Avoid the ones with any mushy spots. A good pineapple should have firm skin.

If it's not practical for you to buy a whole pineapple, aim for cut pineapple that is available at supermarkets, local markets and fruit stalls.

Phuket pineapples are world famous for their delicious taste and crispy texture.
Phuket pineapples have crispy meat and a gentle aroma.

When buying cut pineapple, it's helpful to know the following:

- The bottom of the pineapple that connects to the stem, is usually sweeter than the top.

- Golden yellow meat is often sweet. It's good to know that pineapple bruises appear as brown patches.

- An unripe pineapple has very pale yellow meat, which is hard and sour. On the other hand, an overripe one has soggy, dark yellow meat that has a strong smell.

- It's best to buy cut pineapple that has been freshly cut, where you still can see the moist surface. In addition, it should be stored in a cool place. Cut pineapple, that has been lying around for a long time, has a dry surface and soggy meat.

- Cut pineapple keeps fresh for a few days when refrigerated in air-tight packages.

Homsuwan is a popular pineapple breed in Thailand.
Aromatic Gold pineapple or Homsuwan boasts a pleasant aroma and golden yellow meat.

- A pinch of salt can bring up the flavor of pineapple.

- Since Thais love spicy and tasty food, you may be surprised to see Thais eat fruits with a chili-sugar mix or spicy sauce.

Enjoy tasty pineapples next time you visit Thailand!

Suggested Reading:   Fruit Buying Tips   Amazing Coconuts

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