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Picking Out Your Summer Fruit!

Posted by on July 9, 2012

Some of you may or may not know but I worked in the grocery retail business for 13 years.  I started when I was 15, worked through a variety of departments then landed into management until I came out to California.  I had a few years of working in the produce department where I learned a few tricks of the trade about some of our favorite summer fruits.  I’d like to share those tips with you:

1) Pineapple

To tell when a pineapple is ripe, find one that has a leaf at the very top.  Tug gently on that leaf, if the leaf comes free, you will know that the pineapple is ripe inside.  If the leaf stays, look for another one unless you have a few days before your big party.

2) Watermelon

Yes, there is the sound test.  That is, when you tap on a watermelon, a ripe watermelon will come back sounding hollow, however, there are a few other key signs to look for:

The shape, firmness, and look for a watermelon free of scars and bruises.  Turn the watermelon over on the bottom, there should be a small creamy yellow spot.  This is where the watermelon sat on.  If this spot is more white or greenish, it’s a good indication that the watermelon is not quite ripe.

And lift the watermelon up.  Ripe watermelons have more water weight so they will appear much heavier.

3) Cantaloupes

The Color: When picking out a cantaloupe, the first thing you can look at is the color.  If it’s too green, it’s far from being ripe.  If it’s a nice brown color you have a good chance of it being ripe.

Use your nose: Smell the cantaloupe.  The fragrance should be sweet, but not overwhelming.

4) Peaches

For peaches it comes down to two things: smell and color.  If it smells good, you can bet it will taste good.  How many times have you walked into a grocery store and walked by the peaches and just the fragrance captured you.  Well, make sure a smell is coming out of the ones you pick.

The other thing to look for is with the weight.  The heavier the better because it’s a good sign the moisture has stayed within the fruit, and they’ll be a lot of juicy flavor in each bite.

5) Strawberries

There have been so many times where I’ve had to go through the strawberry cartons while in the produce department.  Strawberries can go bad pretty quick, and it’s a good idea as you go through the cartons to look for any indication of mold.  Also, stay away from the strawberries that have dark spots, or feel soft, they are over riped.  Look for the bright color reds, and the green leafs.

But, the truth is, the sweetest of strawberries will be found from the stands throughout the area, not necessary at the store.

6) Mangoes

Again, utilize your nose, they should have a fresh fragrance.  And when you press on the mango, there should be a little bit of a give, but not too much.  If it’s too firm, it’s far from being ripe.

7) Kiwi’s

To find a ripe kiwi, you should squeeze it a little with your thumb and the pad of your hand.  It will give a little.  Also look for soft spots around the kiwi.  If you find wrinkles, it is over ripe.  It should be consistently colored all away around.

8) Honeydew

Pick your honeydew melon up and sniff at the end where the eye of the melon is.  A sweet scent should come out.  This is a good indication of how ripe the melon is.   Honeydew’s should also feel a little waxy, another good sign of it’s r ipeness.

Have fun this summer with your fruits, I know, for me, this is my favorite time of the year.  I can’t get enough watermelon, cantaloupe, and berries.  And always remember to know the seasons to get the best out of your fruits.

 

 

 

 

23 Responses to Picking Out Your Summer Fruit!

  1. Romina

    Love this post. I can never tell when fruits are ready and now I do…will definitely be bookmarking this one.

    • Jamie

      I’m a huge fruit girl so I always wanted to learn how to pick out all the different kinds of fruits, and I was asked a ton of questions while working in the produce department so thought I’d share =)

  2. Carolyn Hughes

    This is such great advice and now I know how to ‘test’ a watermelon! Obviously living in Ireland any exotic fruits are shipped in and its hard to tell when they are ripe. Thanks Jamie!

  3. Olga Hermans

    Loved all the great fruits that you listed here; I am originally from The Netherlands and grew up with a lot of fruit and flowers all year round. Thanks!

    • Jamie

      I’d love to hear about any fruits that were in the Netherlands that I may not find out here. =)

  4. Alexandra McAllister

    I love your article, Jamie! Great pics as well. Especially in the summer, I enjoy fruits…either fresh from the farmers market or in a smoothie! It’s all good. Thanks for sharing! It is so refreshing.

    • Jamie

      I absolutely love the Farmer’s Markets around here. I need to make a trip out to one sometime soon, I’m missing the freshness of the fruit and veggies =)

  5. Terressa Cortez

    Thank you for all of your tips on fruit. I love fruit. It is always so refreshing and naturally sweet.

  6. Maria Stefanopoulos

    My neighbors plums make this my favorite season of the year. I love fruit and it’s such a great thing to eat.

  7. Sherry Nouraini

    What a great tip list! Thank you!

  8. Sherie

    Love these tips for picking out fruit! Much of the produce that we get here has to travel a long way and it is hard to tell which ones are the best. I like this list because then I will get more value for my money and get to have the best fruit for my family. Thanks!

  9. KyFireWife

    Thanks for posting! I’ve been trying to eat more fruit lately, but I never know how to tell if they’re ripe or not.

  10. Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos

    This is SUCH a great post. I can’t tell you how many times I would look at something and go “hmmm.. is it ripe?” or, when I get it home, a couple days later in the fridge and it resembles a science experiment (whole paychex cherries are guilty of this one). Thanks for the tips!

  11. KalleyC

    This is really good advice. Also, I agree with you with about strawberries. The best ones that I was able to find did not come from the grocery store. Also, when we buy them, we tend to eat the quick so not too many rotten strawberries in my home.

    Found you through Diva’s With a Purpose blog hop.

  12. Karla Campos

    Thanks for all the info on how to pick ripe fruit I had no idea of many of the techniques you mention especially the smelling the fruit techniques. I knew about mangoes because I love unripe mangoes so I look for the green hard ones in the trees so I can eat them with lemon juice and hot sauce.

  13. Lisa Birnesser

    Now I’m starved! Thank you for these awesome tips. So many times I get stumped on what’s ripe or not. I could smell the fruit as you described them. Great post!

  14. Cham Cuartero

    Wow! This is very helpful! Thanks for sharing… Will share this to my friends too…
    Congrats on your SITS Day! :)

  15. Anita

    Great list. I have bookmarked! We love love love strawberries here :)

  16. Sally K Witt

    I am so happy to have expert tips for fruit!! Thank you.

  17. Susan Preston

    Wow, great tips! I love fruit and I knew that there were certain test to do, but whenever i ask a produce clerk in the grocery store how to pick out a watermelon they never seem to know. I will definitely be bookmarking this and sharing this. Thanks :)

  18. Mandy Edwards

    Thank you for these tips! I love fresh fruit and this is a perfect list of what to look for.

  19. Sharon O'Day

    What a wealth of information, Jamie! We have so much fruit that’s grown right here in Florida … and then we have all the imported stuff from Chile, etc., for off-season. One of the things I loved about living in Europe was that many people only bought what was in season locally (not imported), so there were huge sections in the produce department for local produce. Yum!

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