Does Pineapple Continue to Ripen After Being Cut?
The short answer to this question is no; pineapples will not ripen after being cut from the mother plant. This being the case, ‘ripening’ pineapple as discussed by home cooks and other culinary enthusiasts is just a manner of speaking, a term they use to develop the pineapple’s flavor just a little more for the sake of getting good slices of pineapple. So with this in mind, you must know how to spot a truly ripe pineapple before buying it. Not all the pineapples that you see in markets are fully ripe. Some turn yellow because they have been there for so long. Below are some tips for checking the ripeness of pineapple:
- Check the color of the pineapple. Nine times out of 10, the fruit’s yellow exterior indicates that the fruit is ripe and ready for picking. However, in some cases, cultivars of pineapple ripen but retain a mostly green exterior. You can use another criterion to check the ripeness of the fruit in this case. But certainly, mostly yellow pineapples are already ripe. Also, check the state of the leaves. If the leaves are mostly fresh-looking with great green color, that means the pineapple was harvested recently and will be yummy.
- The next test of ripeness is touch. Give the pineapple a little squeeze. A freshly harvested pineapple will have a firm exterior, but the flesh will have the right level of ‘give,’ indicating ripeness and juices. If you squeeze the pineapple and it doesn’t have any give, or it seems like you squeezed a rock, then it’s not ripe at all. Could you not buy it?
- The next test is the smell. Don’t smell the leaves; smell the pineapple’s base because this the point where it was disconnected from the mother plant. Do you smell a nice pineapple-sweet scent? If so, the fruit is ripe and ready to go. If you don’t smell anything or barely smell anything, then that’s a warning sign that the pineapple is likely unripe.
- And finally, the weight. When a pineapple seems heavier than its size, that usually means it has more juice and pulp inside because it has ripened beautifully.
How Do You Ripen a Pineapple After Cutting It?
As we have discussed earlier, you can’t ripen pineapple that has already been cut from the plant. You can just let it naturally age so that it can convert any remaining starches it has into sugar. Some people believe that any remaining usable starches are located at the base of the fruit. So put the pineapple on its crown (of leaves) and leave it at room temperature for up to four days to improve the taste.
However, if the pineapple is barely ripe and hard to touch, we recommend that you don’t eat it because it can make you sick from all the bromelain it has.