Pineapple: Main Image

Buying Tips

Fresh pineapples are available year-round, peaking March through July. Canned and dried pineapple are available year-round. Pineapples do not ripen after harvest, and are therefore difficult to export. Avoid green ones as they will not be sweet. Inspect the fruit and avoid those with soft or dark spots and mold. The ripe fruit should have a pleasant fragrance; if not, it may indicate that fermenting has begun. Another indication of ripeness is if one of the green spikes can be removed easily from the crown.


Pineapple varieties are plentiful, but only a few leading types travel well and are sold commercially. The Cayenne variety is large, firm, and quite sweet, and is perhaps the one most commonly available. Queen pineapples are small, and a little drier and less sweet than the Cayenne. The medium-sized Red Spanish pineapples have purple-hued skin and light yellow flesh. Among the other varieties found at the market are the sweet and medium-sized Pernambuco, the large, heavy, and mildly sweet Sugarloaf, the sweet, white-fleshed Variegated, and the very sweet Baby.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2022.

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