Don't believe everything you see on Instagram—we spoke with Dole to get the real dish.
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pineapple on a designed background
Credit: Getty Images / kaanates

Terrific to support healthy bones and a strong immune system, packed with antioxidants and, oh yes, downright delicious in its sweet-tart glory, fresh pineapple is one of the many things we love about warmer weather. This is especially true when it enters its peak season from March through July.

Since we've covered how to cut a pineapple, if it's safe to eat the core of a pineapple and how to grow a pineapple from a pineapple and have created hundreds of recipes using pineapple and its juice, we thought we knew pretty much everything there was to know about this tropical fruit.

But once again, social media proved us wrong—well, maybe—with a viral post about how we might be storing our pineapples wrong.

Food blogger, "Just the Good Stuff" podcast host and mom of two Rachel Mansfield hopped on Instagram last month with a tip she learned from her own mom:

"How many of you store your pineapples like this, sitting upwards? My mom just told me that you should always be storing your pineapples … on their side otherwise all of the juices will go to the bottom," Mansfield says.

Curious more than skeptical, I slipped on my investigator cap and took to Google. "Wait, am I the last person to know this?!" I thought. Beyond a few posts on Reddit and Facebook, I came up pretty dry on whether this was fact or fiction.

So I went to the source: Dole. The brand is so synonymous with the fruit that Dole Pineapples actually earn a capital "P," William Goldfield, director of corporate communications at Dole Food Company told me. The brand has been growing, harvesting and sharing pineapples from their Hawaii farms for more than 170 years, and the staff members have tested out a lot of theories—including the optimal ways to store a pineapple—to ensure their customers have the best fruit experience possible.

Could this Instagram trick be true?

"People may think storing a pineapple on its side will more evenly distribute the fruit's juice because pineapples can indeed be sweeter on the bottom than on the top," Goldfield told me. "However, storing a pineapple upright or on its side doesn't make a difference."

Unlike other fruits, pineapple doesn't continue to ripen after harvest, he added, "so minimizing storage time is the best advice Dole can give. The real reason for the vertical discrepancy in sweetness is that pineapples are a 'composite' fruit. This means that each starts as an individual fruitlet with its own flower, and the fruitlets on the bottom of the pineapple are older, more mature and thus sweeter than those on the top of the pineapple."

Seek out a pineapple that looks fresh and unblemished, then enjoy ASAP, Goldfield suggests. Store it standing, on its side or upside down; you do you. Then slice and savor soon.

"We encourage all pineapple enthusiasts to prepare and eat the fruit no more than three days after purchase for the best experience," he adds. Simply dice, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for three to four days, max.

If you need more time to put that pineapple to good use, chop it up and pop it in the freezer to use later in a Pineapple Green Smoothie, 3-Ingredient Pina Colada or Dole Whip-Inspired Frozen Pineapple Margarita.