Most of us know the exasperating feeling of buying fruits, only to find out that they're either already spoiled on the inside or so under-ripe that they need to be left out for days before eating. Every fruit has its own clues to its freshness so here are some easy tips for you to remember on your next visit to the fruit store.
- Bananas: Choose bright yellow bananas to eat right away or green bananas to ripen at home. Avoid fruits that are bruised or split. When overripe they turn brown.
- Mangoes: Choose fruits that are slightly soft to the touch (not mushy where your fingers sink into the skin) and fragrant near the stem end. Sometimes ripe mangoes will have brown spots or speckles, which is perfectly normal.
- Avacado: Choose avocados with unblemished skin. Avocados that are shiny are not yet ripe enough. If the avocado is ripe, the stem will pull right out.
- Pineapples: Choose fruits that smell sweet at the stem end, have fresh looking leaves, and are heavy for their size. Avoid fruits with soft spots or dry, brown leaves. A strong aroma can indicate over-ripeness.
- Lemons, Limes and oranges: Choose fruits that are fragrant and heaviest for their size. Avoid fruits that are shriveled. Citrus fruits that are too firm are likely to be dry on the inside.
- Grapes: They should be firmly attached to the stems without wrinkles or brown spots. Green grapes are the sweetest when they are yellow-green in color. Red grapes should be predominantly red, and black grapes will be most flavorful when they have a deep, rich color.
- Pomegranates: Cracks are a good sign that the fruits are bursting with plump seeds; just make sure there isn't any mold in the cracks.
- Watermelons: A properly ripened watermelon is dark green and when tapped should make a deep/hollow sound. Avoid ones with bruising or smashed parts.
Apples (Green and Red): It should be firm to the touch and of full colour. Avoid apples with bruising or discoloration. A more round apple can be a little more flavourful than the elongated types.