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Selecting the Perfect Pineapple

by Colin Lyons, produce buyer
Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I had the pleasure of spending a number of years in a Byerly’s produce department keeping displays full and helping customers with their questions. It was fascinating to see all of the different ways that people pick out their produce. There was a lot of knocking on watermelon, smelling of peaches and cantaloupe, and tasting of grapes. As a side note to all of you grape tasters that are for some reason ashamed of your actions, tasting a grape or two is OK! It is good to see people interact with their food in these ways. It shows a person’s interest and passion for great produce. A desire to put delicious, healthy food on your table is nothing to be ashamed of.

One of my favorite methods of selection was the “pineapple pull”. If you don’t know what I am referring to I will explain. Many people will go up to a pineapple display and start pulling on the leaves in the crown of the pineapple. The theory is that if the leaf pulls free from the pineapple, it is ripe and ready. This very common misconception has not only made some messy pineapple displays, but it suggests that there are a lot of under ripe pineapples out there. The fact is every pineapple in our stores should be ripe and ready to eat.

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