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How to select fresh fruits from supermarkets? Series #3

If picking a ripe and fresh fruits feels like a completely daunting task, I can assure you that you're not alone. Sometimes this choice feels more like a leap of faith, where you cross your fingers and hope for the best.

But there are ways to discover the sweetest, ripest, juiciest fruits, and to pluck them from the heap.

Here's how I pick the best fruits.

Peaches

How to Choose

  1. Smell the fruit. The peach is a member of the rose family and should have a pleasingly sweet fragrance.
  2. Look for a creamy gold to yellow under color. The red or "blush" of a peach is an indication of variety, not ripeness.
  3. Peaches should be soft to the touch but not mushy. Don't squeeze peaches; they bruise easily.

Avoid

  1. Very hard or firm, red with green base color 
  2. Very soft, mushy, with flat bruises or pale to dark tan spots.

Pears


How to Choose

  1. Press a finger gently into the top of the pear just where the stem joins the fruit. If it just starts to give there, the fruit is ripe. 
  2. Don't buy pears that are soft anywhere else, as that indicates that they are overripe and the flesh will be mushy and mealy.
  3. If you want to eat the pears in a few days, the top should still be hard.

Avoid

  1. Dull, shriveled, or wilted
  2. Slight withering near the stem
  3. Spotted or bruised flesh.


Pinapple


How to Choose

  1. Select a pineapple that is plump and fresh-looking. The leaves in the crown should be fresh and green, and the body of the pineapple firm. 
  2. The larger the pineapple, the greater the proportion of edible fruit, but a larger fruit won’t necessarily be better tasting or riper than a smaller one. 
  3. The color of the pineapple’s outer shell is not necessarily a sign of maturity or ripeness: a pineapple’s flesh can be ripe, sweet, and ready to eat when the shell is still quite green. 
  4. Ease in pulling leaves from the crown is not a sign of ripeness.

Avoid

  1. Dull yellowish-green, with sunken or pointed eyes
  2. Dry looking, bruised, moldy, soft spots, unpleasant odor.

Plums


How to Choose

  1. Avoid plums that are hard or very soft to the touch, poorly colored or if their skin shows any shriveling, bruises or breaks.
  2. Plums are best picked mature but not fully ripe.

Avoid

  1. Hard, poorly colored, punctured, brown discoloration
  2. Too soft, mushy, leaky.

Strawberries


How to Choose

  1. Ripe, fresh strawberries smell great. 
  2. Ripe strawberry will be red through and through. 
  3. A strawberry picked underripe will be white or even slightly greenish at the top. 
  4. Don't ever go by shape. 
  5. Strawberries which have visible mold or fouled spots are not good.

Avoid

  1. Moldy, large seedy or uncolored areas, shrunken in appearance. 
  2. Check bottom berries in package.

Watermelons


How to Choose

  1. Choose a melon that's not damaged on the outside. 
  2. It should be free of bruises, soft spots, moldy patches and cracks.
  3. Choose a melon with a dull looking appearance. A shiny outside is an indicator of an underripe melon. 
  4. Choose a melon that's heavy for its size.
  5. Tap the melon with the palm of your hand. If you hear a hollow sound, it's passed the first test.
  6. Push your fingers on the round section where the vine was attached. It should be slightly soft and should smell fresh and fragrant with a hint of sweetness.

Avoid

  1. Uncut: pale rind, punctures, bruises. 
  2. Cut: pale-colored flesh, whitish streaks or seeds
    1. Dry, mealy flesh
    2. Stringy, watery flesh.

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