1. Look at the pineapple. It should be plump and fresh, and the leaves should be green. It should not have any visible bruises.
2. Smell the pineapple. It should have a sweet, pineapple smell at the stem end of the fruit.
3. Touch the pineapple. The shell should give slightly when you push on it, but there should be no large, soft spots that cave in under your touch.
4. To cut pineapple into chunks, twist off the crown, then slice the pineapple lengthwise into quarters. Cut away the shell from each quarter, then remove the core strip from the top. Slice into chunks.
• The ease with which you can remove a leaf from the crown does not indicate how ripe a pineapple is.
• If you want to use the pineapple shell as a decorative "bowl," do not remove the crown and only cut the pineapple in half. Cut the fruit away from the half-shell carefully in order to leave it intact.
• A ripe, whole pineapple will stay fresh if stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to four days. Cut pineapple stays fresh in the fridge for a few days.