The organic pineapple plant has a dense, shallow root system. It grows about 90cm high and bears long, stiff, sword-shaped, brittle leaves that create an elongated rosette. The fruit arises from the centre of this rosette. If the fruit is removed, another fruiting stem arises. This fruiting process is repeated, over and over, for almost fifty years – the lifetime of a typical plant.
Despite the fact that the plant can continue to produce fruit for many years, commercial pineapple plants are replaced after 5-10 years. This guarantees that the fruit raised for marketing will be flavourful and of the highest quality.
Choose pineapples that have fresh-looking base leaves and that have no soft spots. A sweet aroma indicates ripeness. Fragrance is a sign of quality, however most times pineapples are kept at too cold a temperature to be fragrant.
In the summer months, select pineapples with one-third golden skin colour, whilst in winter months, select pineapples with a little more colour, to ensure ripeness. Once picked, pineapples will not ripen further, that is, they do not get any sweeter therefore, if picked too early they will lack flavour. Crown leaves should also be fresh looking and a deep green colour.