Choosing a pineapple can be a bit of a crap shoot.  First let’s dispel a couple of myths:

1. A pineapple will ripen after you bring it home.  Wrong!  A pineapple is as ripe as it will ever be on the day it is picked.
2. If you can pull a leaf cleanly from the center, the pineapple is ripe. I believed this one for years, but this is also WRONG.

Here are some things to look for in choosing a pineapple:

  1. In general, look for freshness and look out for deterioration.
  2. Look at the pineapple. Look for a golden color at the base.  The higher the golden color goes up the sides, the sweeter the pineapple is likely to be.  If the pineapple has bruises, it has probably started to deteriorate.
  3. Smell the pineapple at the base: If it smells sweet, it's ready. If it has no scent, it's not ripe, and it won’t get ripe. If it smells fermented, it's overripe--avoid it!
  4. Touch the pineapple: it should be firm, but yield slightly. if it’s soft and/or spongy, avoid it.