How do you pick a pineapple in a store? I always pluck out a center leaf – if it comes out quite easily the pineapple is ripe. Now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag, though, I guess everyone else will do the same and when I get there, maybe that’s not such a good test anymore!! So, I’ll smell it at the stem end. The stronger and sweeter it smells (it should REALLY reek of pineapple), the riper it is. If you really need a pineapple and they are all giving off only faint smells, buy it and let it sit on the counter for a couple of days till the aroma develops. Then slice into that juicy bad boy!!