How to Tell When Fruit Is Ripe

Just Picked How to Tell When Fruit Is Ripe

It happens to all of us; we buy a nice piece of fruit, take it home, and, oh no! It's either not ready to eat or has already crossed over into gross brown spoilage. It speaks to one of the trickiest things we go through at the supermarket — picking fruit when it is properly ripe.

So, what's the secret to picking fruit at the proper ripeness in the store? It's all about knowing your fruits and employing your senses of sight, smell, touch, and even hearing to understand what awaits beneath the rind.

Just to make things more complicated, each type of fruit has a different set of criteria you must measure. Fun, right? Well, don't worry! It's time to demystify some of the elusive secrets of picking your fruit when it's "just right" when you're at the store.

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1. Bananas

Let your eyes be your guide! If on the greener side, they will take a few days to ripen. Eating them right away? Go for yellow, even allowing for a few dark spots.

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2. Pears

A properly ripe pear will emit a lovely aroma, indicating the flavors inside are as tempting as the smell. Give them a light squeeze as well. They should be firm but also give way just a little.

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3. Apples

No need to use your nose on this one. A properly ripe apple will be heavy and firm, indicating interior crispiness. Just make sure there are no dents or brown spots.

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4. Watermelon

Buying pre-sliced pieces? Seek a deep red color in the flesh. Buying a whole watermelon? Give it a slap – it should sound hollow. Also, look for a spot of yellow on the rind. This is called the "field spot" from where the watermelon was growing on the ground; this spot didn't receive the same amount of light, and thus isn't green. If it's yellow, it's been on the vine for awhile and has ripened, whereas if it's white or pale it was picked too early.

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5. Peaches

Follow your nose! The stronger a peach smells, the riper it is. Satisfied with the aroma? Now give a light squeeze. Avoid any peach that feels too mushy — it's ready to spoil!

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6. Strawberries

The first sign of a ripe strawberry is shininess. If they're glowing, go in close for a sniff. A good whiff of sweetness sweetens the deal! Finally, do a quick mushiness check. Also, don't forget to check to make sure there is no mold growing underneath that top layer of strawberries; this is a good rule for berries of all sorts.

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7. Avocado

Yep, these are fruits too and we love them! Bright green doesn't mean go — the fruit isn't ripe yet. Dark green signals readiness. Also, give a good squeeze to see that it gives a little.

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8. Pineapple

Start with the smell for this tropical favorite. If the bottom smells slightly sweet, it's ready to consume. A sour aroma means it's spoiling. A test squeeze should give a little while being overall firm.

Whether you're going for a fruit salad or just packing an extra snack in the lunchbox, fruits are delicious and nutritious. Just be sure to pick them when they're just right!

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