Pineapples have a wide cylindrical shape, a scaly green, brown or yellow skin and a regal crown of spiny, blue-green leaves. The flesh of pineapple is yellow in color and has a sweet flavor. The area closest to the base of the pineapple is the most tender and has the sweetest flavor.
Pineapples originated in South America and were transplanted throughout tropical areas by the Spanish and Portuguese.
Calories in Pineapple:
Picking the perfect pineapple
Pineapples should look fresh with deep green leaves that show no yellowing, browning or dryness. Ripe pineapples will give off a good, fresh tropical smell. Avoid pineapples that give of an unpleasant odor or have any discoloration of the skin. Avoid pineapples that have soft spots and dark or watery eyes. The eyes of the pineapple are those thorny studs within the puffy squares of the skin.
Pineapples must be picked fully ripe. The Central American pineapple is still green when ripe. Sometimes the Hawaiian pineapple is still green when ripe. Pineapples that are fully ripe lack a starch reserve, so they will not ripen or get any sweeter after they are picked. Pineapples reach most major markets within 36 hours of their harvest.
How to store pineapples
Place ripe pineapples in a plastic bag or plastic container stored in a refrigerator. The plastic bag will prevent moisture loss. Pineapples are best stored at a temperature around 45°F. Pineapples stored correctly will last several days in the refrigerator.
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