Pineapples are great! Not only are pineapples the most fabulous species in the fruit kingdom due to their flamboyant crowns, and the fact that it is home to one of the most famous characters in all of television, SpongeBob Squarepants, they also boast an impressive and slightly sexual list of health benefits.

But before diving into the luxurious pineapple lifestyle, you must first know how to pick the perfect pineapple (alliteration intended). Through careful and intense research, I have come of with a list of tips and tricks to use when you’re trying to determine if a pineapple is ripe.

Smell the But

A former employee at the Dole Pineapple Cannery in Hawaii (and in my opinion a pineapple expert) gave his advice on Quora to “smell the butt.” The butt of the pineapple is where it is the most fragrant. If it smells sweet, like pineapple juice, then it is ripe and ready to go. If you can’t detect a smell, wait a little longer. If the butt smells a little sour or like vinegar, then the pineapple is too ripe and has gone bad.

Give it a firm, yet gentle caress advises to squeeze the fruit gently to make sure that it is firm, “yet soft enough to slightly give.”

Pull the leaves

The most popular tip is to pull the leaves at the top of the fruit. If it comes off with only a little pressure, then it is ready to be eaten. If the leaves won’t budge it probably isn’t ripe, and if the leaves are brown and falling off then you need to throw that sad excuse for a fruit the in trash.

Cooking Light says that “while it’s available year-round, pineapple’s peak season runs from March through July,” so the summer months are the best time to enjoy the sweet treat. 

If you follow these quick tips next time you're at your local farmers market or grocery store, you're guaranteed to pick a perfectly ripe pineapple. If, for some reason you follow all of these steps and you ending up picking a bad pineapple, then Spoon University will reimburse you.  JK.