What to look for
A ripe pineapple should have a firm shell but be slightly soft with a bit of give when you squeeze it.
Pineapples are available year-round with a peak season in spring.
Fresh pineapple is highly perishable, and if kept at room temperature it should be eaten within a couple days. Store in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life up to 5 days.
Pineapple is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C, as well as some iron and calcium. The pineapple’s core contains high levels of an enzyme called bromelain, which is said to be an effective anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant, and digestive aid. Bromelain even has chemicals that have been shown to interfere with the growth of tumor cells.
Ways to Eat
Pineapples can be used raw or cooked. To prepare the pineapple for use, cut off the top and the base, stand the pineapple upright and slice away the skin in a downward vertical motion. The core can be left in or removed depending on preference, though it is edible, and can even be pressed for juice. Raw pineapple can be eaten as is, and also juiced or pureed for smoothies and fruit cocktails, like a pina colada. Fresh pineapple can be roasted, grilled, or baked for desserts, including pineapple upside-down cake. It can also be cooked and sweetened as a topping for custards and cheesecakes. Try dicing and pairing fresh pineapple with tomato, herbs and chilies for a salsa to accompany seafood.
*Brand will vary depending on availability