Although pineapple season typically runs from March to July, let’s be honest: Pineapples are popular any time of the year. You could say this is because of the sweet flavor that makes pineapple the perfect addition to cocktails (usually the tropical kind that come with a tiny umbrella), or the fact that it can even be used in savory dishes. You may have even used it to help heal your sore throat during a bad cold.
While pineapples don’t ripen properly after they are picked, there is a short window of time in which they will stay fresh. For this, don't just guess -– by knowing exactly how to keep pineapple in the fridge, you will be able to confidently keep this tropical fruit fresher longer.
Use these signs as a way to determine if you do, in fact, have a ripe pineapple on your hands:
- Outside appearance: You might think that a ripe pineapple changes colors from green to golden yellow. Turns out, that's not so. Some pineapples actually stay green when ripe, depending on where they were grown. If you notice green mold – typically on the bottom of the fruit – then the pineapple should definitely be tossed.
- Inside appearance: While the exterior color of a pineapple doesn’t matter much when determining if it’s ripe enough, the interior definitely does. The general rule is: The more yellow a pineapple is on the inside, the more ripe it is.
- Smell: A ripe pineapple smells sweet. If you happen to notice a vinegar-like smell that is a bit funky, then toss it.
If you're brave enough to squeeze the pineapple despite the spikes, a ripe pineapple will feel slightly soft. If it's rock hard, it's not ripe enough.
In the fridge: When you bring an uncut pineapple home from the market, you can leave it at room temperature for around two to three days before it starts to go bad. You will give it an extra three days if you store it in the fridge instead, preferably covered in a perforated plastic bag. Sliced pineapple should be stored in an airtight container to keep it fresh for around four days.
In the freezer: Freezing pineapple is a great way to preserve this sweet fruit longer. The trick to doing it properly is to freeze it within one to two days of buying it. To do this, slice the pineapple into the size chunks that you prefer and then place them on a lined baking tray. You can use parchment paper, wax paper or even plastic wrap. You will then place the tray into the freezer for a quick freeze. Once frozen, use freezer bags or airtight containers to store the pineapple. It should stay good for around 12 months.
If it's pineapple juice that you're storing, store it in a glass container with a tightly fitting lid. In the fridge, it will last around seven to 10 days, compared to the eight to 12 months that it will last in the freezer.
Will Vinegar Keep Fruit From Turning Brown?
At some point, you've probably experienced browning on pineapple and other fruits, such as apple slices. Air exposure can cause browning, but luckily, there are methods to slow down this process. If you want to learn how to keep pineapple fresh after cutting it, consider using vinegar to keep the fruit from turning brown. It works the same way lemon juice works to slow down browning on pineapple slices – through its ascorbic acid. Keep in mind, though, that using vinegar could affect the flavor of the pineapple, which is why lemon juice is the better choice.
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