The sweetness of pineapple is something we love. Even as I’m writing this article, my taste buds are craving the fruit’s delectable flavor and richness. I have a couple of unripened pineapple fruits sitting on one of my kitchen drawers. Fortunately, I’ve got the magic to ripen them quickly!
How can you ripen pineapples? Some people think that this is an absurd and silly question. After all, fruits have their own natural time of ripening and, of course, we can settle for this. But don't you know there is also a hack to hasten the ripening process?
In this article, I will show you some of the efficient ways to make this trick possible. Obviously, it won't involve superstitious practices, as all of the procedures that I will show you below are the product of science. So what are you waiting for? Let's get started!
How To Ripen A Pineapple
Before I do anything, I always check if my fruit is ripe already. Do not get fooled by the skin color. Most of the time, people assume that pineapples with green exteriors are not good yet, but this is not always the case.
How To Test A Pineapple's Ripeness
You can a pineapple’s ripeness through its smell. If the fruit releases a strong, sweet smell, there is a good chance that it is already ripe. Pineapples that don't have this noticeable smell are not yet eatable.
If you put the pineapple in your refrigerator, the cold will suppress its smell. That's the reason why I just place my pineapples on a safe shelf in my kitchen, so that the room temperature will allow me to gauge the ripeness of the fruit.
Does Ripeness Equate To Sweetness?
This is a conception that I want to clarify myself. Initially, pineapples do not ripen immediately after you harvested them (assuming you have a farm). Once you put the pineapple on the counter, you can expect that its skin color will change as the days pass, and it will get less sturdy too. However, these changes are not indicators that the pineapple is already sweet.
Sugar is a derivative of starch and the pineapple’s starch comes from the plant stem. Therefore, once you cut the pineapple from its source, the fruit won't get any more sugar.
So does this mean that a pineapple that’s been picked will not ripen and sweeten anymore? Fortunately, the answer is no.
Here are some tricks that you can still do to improve the taste and overall quality of the fruit:
Method 1: Turn Things Upside Down
The starch is the "sugar factory" of any food, so if the pineapple has any remaining starch, it should be found in its base. Theoretically speaking, the sugar might still spread if you flip it upside down (the crown should be on the bottom).
This practice is not common, even among pineapple producers. However, it is worth trying. I once successfully increased the sweetness of my pineapple through this procedure!
Method 2: Let Your Room Take Care Of It
After picking the pineapple, it should start to soften after one or two days, and storing the fruit at an ideal room temperature will hasten its fermentation. Once you leave the fruit on your kitchen counter for five days to one week, you can guarantee that it will ripen and sweeten on its own.
These are the only proven methods to ripen a pineapple. I strongly advise you not to put a whole, unskinned pineapple in your refrigerator. The cold temperature has an adverse and inhibiting effect on the softening and ripening of the fruit and somehow slows down the change in the fruit’s color. Moreover, it also breaks the flesh and makes it dark.
You can still store your pineapples in the refrigerator, but only for one or two days. Otherwise, it will suffer the consequences I’ve already mentioned. I once tried to store pineapples in my fridge for a week, but it just ruined the fruit.
Storing The Pineapple In The Paper Bag: Does It Work?
They say that putting a pineapple in a paper bag with fruit nearby can ripen it. I have seen a lot of blogs recently that mentions this trick. Well, this trick works with other fruits and many farmers use it to ripen apples, pears, and bananas. However, it doesn't work with pineapples.
Yes, it can hasten the fruit’s color change from green to gold, but it doesn't affect the flavor, which is our standard for ripeness. Therefore, this trick is pretty useless. You just have to follow the old school steps that I’ve mentioned because they really work!
A Little Tip
If you are heading to your local market to buy pineapples, make sure you choose some that were picked during the summer, as they will have a sweeter taste compared to those harvested in the winter. Ask the vendors for this detail. They are less acidic, which is great for the body!
Warning About Eating Unripe Pineapple
I have to remind you that young, unripe pineapple can contain toxins that cause irritation to the throat and, in some cases, can even cause serious laxative effects. So, if you are planning to start a pineapple farm, you should always be reminded of this.
This is why pineapple producers only sell their pineapples when they are partially ripe. Otherwise, the fruits would just stay in their storage.
Preparing Unripe Pineapples
You can only safely eat an unripe pineapple if you follow a systematic procedure.
An unripe fruit will usually have a bland, sour taste, but you can improve the sweetness if you grill it with sugar. The heat can also kill the fruit’s bromelain, which is an enzyme that causes bleeding and pain.
Alternatively, you could heat up the unripe pineapples inside your oven. But make sure you sprinkle them with sugar first. The final results are sweet and luscious. I always do this on my pineapples, and it’s worth it!
Although learning how to ripen pineapples is not really a necessary skill in the kitchen, it can maximize the full flavor and deliciousness of the fruit. Once you know how to do this, you will be able to use the pineapples in different recipes. If not, you will just have to slice them off for your next dessert!
Did you learn from this simple tutorial? Feel free to ask if you have any questions, comments, and suggestions! I will be waiting!