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How to select fresh fruits from supermarkets? Series #2

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.

Grapes


How to Choose

  1. Hold a bunch by the stem. 
  2. Shake gently - if grapes drop off the stem, they have been in storage for too long. 
  3. If the grapes are firmly attached, are plump and bright, they are fresh.

Avoid

  1. Soft
  2. Wrinkled
  3. Leaky grapes with brown, dry stems
  4. Grapes with bleached stem ends.

Kiwis


How to Choose

  1. Choose kiwis with flesh that yields slightly to pressure. 
  2. To check this, hold the kiwi between your thumb and forefinger, and gently squeeze or apply pressure. 
  3. A ripe kiwi at the peak of its sweetness will be a little soft and will give slightly to the pressure
  4.  If the kiwi feels a little too tough and does not yield to the gentle pressure, then the kiwi is not yet ready for consumption as it still has not yet fully ripened.
  5. Check for the exterior characteristics of the kiwi.
  6. Smell: Ripe kiwifruit should have a fragrant citrus smell.
  7. Feel: Ripe kiwifruit should feel plump to the touch.
  8. Texture: The skin of ripe kiwifruit should be smooth and taut.
  9. Color: The color of ripe kiwifruit should be consistently light green-brown all over.

Avoid

  1. Shriveled or wrinkled skin, as this is an indication of water loss and loss of nutrients.
  2. Discoloration, bruises, mold, damp and overly squishy spots, as these indicate that the kiwi might be overripe or spoiled already.
  3. Wrinkled, moldy, or excessively soft

Guava


How to Choose

  1. Colour: It should be light green. Not dark green, not yellowish green, and certainly not full-on yellow. There should not be any artificial ripening marks, it ruins the taste. Dark Green to Yellow is the continuum of ripeness from less ripe to ripe.
  2. Hardness: Firm, but not rock hard. Too soft is over ripe. Too hard is not yet ripe enough.
  3. Smell: Hard to describe, but it will have a slightly sweet smell that you will be able to tell apart from others. If the smell is too strong, it is over-ripe.
  4. Try to err on the side of less ripe, because guavas will continue to ripen in your kitchen.

Avoid

  1. Hard, all green fruit.

Lemon


How to Choose

  1. Choose a lemon that’s heavy for its size and has a pleasant fragrance.
  2. The skin should be bright yellow with no wrinkling. 
  3. A thinner-skinned lemon will yield more juice while a thicker-skinned one may be better for zest. 
  4. Be sure to check that the lemon is not too soft and has no signs of white or green mold. 
  5. Small blemishes and spots won’t affect the juice.

Avoid

  1. Dark yellow or dull
  2. Shriveled, moldy, soft, or punctured. 
  3. Coarse skinned fruits = less pulp.

Nectarines



How to Choose

  1. Choose one that is evenly colored, mostly a deep red.
  2. Hold the nectarine in your hand and lightly squeeze. If the fruit gives too much, it is too ripe. 
  3. Squeeze it a little bit. If it is rock hard, it is not ripe and will be dry inside. 
  4. If it is very soft, it is too ripe and will be messy. 
  5. Repeat until you find one that is squeezable without too much give.
  6. Once you have found a fruit with the right consistency, check the skin for bruises, soft spots, and other defects.

Avoid

  1. Hard, dull, shriveled
  2. soft, punctured, or with a cracked skin.

Papaya

How to Choose

  1. Look for a lot of yellow and red colors on the green skin.
  2. Squeeze the papaya gently; it should give a little if it is ripe.
  3. Smell the fruit at the base where the stem was once attached; you should be able to smell a genuine papaya scent.

Avoid

  1. All green, mushy, bruised or rough-textured. 

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