There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a juicy, sweet, ripe fruit. But how do you know by the appearance that the peach or melon you intend to buy tastes good?
Choosing delicious fruits is more art than science, but there are some guidelines to help you make the right choice.
Some fruits ripen when carbohydrates are broken down into sugars and become sweeter after being harvested, such as bananas, apples, pears, and mangoes.
But there are other fruits that do not become sweeter at all after they are harvested, because they get their sweetness from the juice of plants. Apricots, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, melons are examples of this.
Soft berries, cherries, citrus fruits, watermelon, pineapple and grapes never ripen after they have been harvested. So if they are not ripe at the grocery store, you probably won’t bring them home. An avocado, on the other hand, doesn’t begin to ripen until it’s been picked from the branch.
Color, smell, texture, and other clues can also help determine which fruit you should buy. The rules differ depending on the fruit.
All experts agree that you’ll get the ripest, tastiest fruits if you shop for local produce during high season. Even easier, tasting fruits at farmers markets is the only reliable way to find out how tasty fruits are. Going to a farm that allows you to pick fruit right from the tree is even better.
melons Experts agree that smell plays an important role in choosing the best melons. They should smell very sweet, especially near the stalks, and should also be tender when pressed.
The best way to check the ripeness of a melon is to look at its skin. If the veins are green, the melon is not ripe.
You can determine the ripeness of a melon by tapping on its surface. If you hear a deep thud, it’s a ripe melon.
Watermelon should be heavy and have a creamy yellow patch near the tail.
drupe Look for peaches and nectarines that are tender to the touch but not too soft. Feeling is the best way, but smell can also be a good indicator of taste. Stay away from peaches that have a greenish tinge, which usually means they were picked too early.
Cherry Color is a key indicator when it comes to cherries. Deep burgundy color indicates its ripeness. The cherry should be full of juice. It should pop when pressed. The cherries should be firm – if the flesh is too soft, this indicates that the cherries are overripe.
Berries Berries are selected by color. The smell isn’t that important. Remember that they will not mature after you buy them. They just get softer.
Strawberries should be completely red. If it has white parts hidden by leaves, the berries are picked too early. Strawberries should be firm and have dark green leaves. If the leaves are dry, then this is a sign that the berries are not fresh.
Choosing raspberries, look for the most intense, deep red berries. Blueberries are selected by color and size. Dark large blueberries are the sweetest.
Apples Apples should have a very tight, tough skin without dents.
Color also matters. You need to know what color an apple of a particular variety has when it is ripe. For example, pay attention to really tasty golden apples.
oranges You need to look for bright branded oranges. A color that is too pale may indicate that the fruit was harvested too early. If the peel looks like a crust, the fruit has lost its freshness.
pears Ripe pears usually have a sweet flavor and are soft to the touch. If the fruits are hard, they are not ripe. Pears harvested from the tree ripen very well at room temperature.
bananas Bananas do not grow here, so they are always picked green and ripen on the way. It doesn’t really matter if they are a little green when you buy them. It all depends on when you are going to eat them.
Mango You can take a mango that is not yet ripe and throw it in a brown paper bag on a shelf and the fruit will ripen there. If the fruit is soft to the touch and leaves an imprint when pressed, it is ripe and ready to eat. The skin should have a yellowish tint. Green color indicates that the fruit is not yet ripe.