Frequently Asked Questions

How should I choose a ripe Pineapple while shopping in the produce department?

Picking the right brand is the key to picking the best pineapple because different companies grow very different varieties and use various growing methods that greatly affect flavor and quality. Pineapples should be mature "well developed" with rounded shoulders and developed "eyes" that have filled out (flat and not too pointy). The fruit shell should be bright yellow/gold color and can have some green coloring, but the shell should not be all green or brown and dried out. The crown (top) can range in color from green to reddish-green in color and should also have fresh looking appearance. Pineapples may look tough, but they can easily be bruised when not handled properly. Pick up the pineapples and make sure they are not bruised, leaking, spongy, mushy, or decaying. And do the sniff test: Smell the stem end. You're looking for a sweet, fresh pineapple smell. Skip pineapples with fermented or soured odors.

Does the size of a pineapple impact the taste?

In this case, size does not matter too much in determining flavor; however larger fruit can hold more juice. Flavor is influenced by the variety, growing practices, weather conditions, and degree of ripeness when the pineapple is harvested. The variety of the pineapple has a very big impact on the flavor and eating quality of the fruit. That is why choosing the Sweet Gold™ label will ensure that you will be getting only the sweetest, low-acid, field ripe pineapple. To enhance the naturally sweet flavor, cut and chill the cut fruit for a few hours in the refrigerator before serving, although it is still delicious at room temperature.

How nutritious are pineapples?

Fresh pineapples are very delicious, healthy, and nutritious fruits. Pineapples are sodium-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free with only about 30 calories per 1/2 inch slice (2 oz) or 80 calories per 1 cup serving of cut fruit (5.5 oz). Pineapples are also rich in vitamin C, manganese, and high in fiber. In addition to being a great source for antioxidants, pineapples contain Bromelain, an enzyme that helps digest protein.

What is a good way to freeze pineapple?

Just peel and cut the pineapple into chunks (or other desired shape) and put into airtight containers or freezer bags. If you would like the frozen pieces to be separated and not in one large clump, freeze the chunks in a single layer on a cookie sheet and when frozen, put into airtight containers or freezer bags and place back into the freezer. Frozen pineapple is great to use in smoothies and frozen drinks such as Chi Chi's or Pina Coladas - just cut down the amount of ice used in the recipe.

Do pineapples continue to ripen after they've been harvested?

No - Pineapples are individually hand-picked when they are fully ripened. Once pineapples are harvested they do not continue to increase the sugar content internally but the shell color will turn more yellow or golden. If a fruit is bruised or damaged, do not leave out of the refrigerator. Peel and cut the pineapple immediately, throwing the damaged spots away and refrigerate the good parts of the fruit. Bruised or damaged fruit will begin to sour or decay if left out of the refrigerator and can ruin the entire fruit if left unchecked.

What is the best way to store pineapple after they are purchased?

Once you get your ripe pineapple home, you can store it in the refrigerator whole without the top on; or you can peel, cut and chill the slices in a tightly covered container (do not use aluminum wrap as it will change the flavor of the pineapple). If you wish to allow the shell to become more yellow or golden, you can leave the fruit (with the crown) on the counter for up to a few days, then cut and refrigerate.

How do you suggest preparing pineapples for consumption?

Fancy spears: Cut the top (crown end) off as well as the bottom 1/2 inch of the pineapple and throw away. Set the fruit on end and using a serrated knife, cut away wide strips of the skin of the pineapple from top to bottom, leaving as much fruit as possible. If there are still "eyes" (brown circular divets) on the outside of the fruit flesh, you will see that they form diagonal lines around the pineapple. Using a knife, remove them by cutting narrow v-shaped groves diagonally around the fruit, following the pattern of the eyes. Cut the fruit in half lengthwise and in half again to make 4 long quarters. Slice away the tough core (lengthwise) and the clean quarter will remain to be sliced lengthwise into beautiful long spears. *Note: freeze the core spears to be used as stirring sticks for iced tea or other drinks.

Wedges for drinks or dipping: Cut the top and bottom 1/2 inch of the pineapple off and throw away. Put the fruit on end and cut into half lengthwise. Then cut the half into half or thirds lengthwise again (depending upon the size of wedge desired). If the core is too hard to chew, slice the hard core off lengthwise. Leave the skin on (if desired) and cut into 1/2 inch slices. If you are using the wedge as a garnish for a drink, make a 1/2 inch cut from the tip toward the middle of the wedge so you can place it on the edge of the glass.

Chunks, the quick way: Using a sharp chef's knife, cut the whole pineapple lengthwise into halves, then quarters. Use a serrated knife to slice away the tough core, then run the knife between the fruit and the skin to separate. Finally, cut the fruit into chunks or fingers-sized portions. *Note: freeze the core spears to be used as stirring sticks for iced tea or other drinks.

Quarter pineapple centerpieces: Cut the pineapple in quarters lengthwise (you can leave the top on if you choose, or you can remove the top if you find it is to difficult to cut). As above, slice the core off lengthwise and save if you wish. Take the knife and run it along the skin, cutting the fruit away from the skin. Cut the fruit into 1/2 inch slices and carefully place them back into the shell. Repeat for all 4 quarters.

Pineapple "boats": Leave the crown and the stem end on the pineapple. For a large boat, put the pineapple on its side and using a sharp or serrated knife, slice a quarter of the fruit off lengthwise without cutting any of the crown. Use a paring knife or curved grapefruit knife, cut the fruit out of the skin, leaving a "shell boat" (try not to cut the "shell" through to the other side as the boat will "leak"). The removed fruit can be cut in chunks and then put back into the boats. If you wish to create 2 smaller boats out of one pineapple, cut the fruit in half lengthwise, slicing the crown in half also. Follow the rest of the above instructions. For a fun serving presentation, the boats can also be filled with fruit salad, main or side dish such as pineapple fried rice, or ice cream.

Do you use pesticides growing pineapples?

We prefer not to use pesticides and do not use soil fumigation to control pest damage, instead of fighting nature we try to work with nature. We use cover crops, crop rotation, pest resistant varieties, pest monitoring, cultural practices and other methods to minimize the need for pesticides. When we do use crop protection agents they are carefully applied against targeted pest and disease life cycles to be most effective and minimize the possibility of residue.

Do you use GMO's in Hawaiian Crown Pineapple or other products?

Hawaiian Crown products do not use GMO's. Hawaiian Crown & Hawaii Pineapple Company has an on-going proprietary breeding and selection program that focuses on improvement of our crops through traditional methods.

More questions? Contact us at Hawaiian Crown