A pineapple is ripe when the skin develops a bright yellow-gold color, at least on the eyes closest to the bottom of the fruit. Sometimes pineapples that are green may in fact be fully ripe, but this does not guarantee ripeness. Another sign of ripeness is a pleasant aroma detected when smelling the base of the fruit. The surface of a ripe pineapple is firm and yields slightly to the touch.
There is a myth that when the leaves pull easily from a pineapple's crown, it is ripe. This is not true; the ability to pull leaves from the crown of the fruit means nothing in regard to ripeness. People selecting pineapples should also be sure not to select deteriorated fruits. Signs of deterioration include wrinkled skin, a fermenting odor and a soft exterior. Overripe or deteriorated pineapples may also have cracks, brown spots, withered leaves or surface mold.
To prevent a pineapple from becoming overripe, shoppers should purchase the fruits on the day they intend to consume them. Storing the pineapple in the upper portion of a refrigerator helps prevent it from fermenting too rapidly. Keeping pineapples at around 45 degrees F prevents the pineapples' flesh from becoming waterlogged.