Fresh Fruit is Here!

May 15, 2013

The warmer months mean for fresh fruits for the picking! Here are the things you need to know about seasonal fruit

The warmer months mean for fresh fruits for the picking! Here are  the things you need to know about seasonal fruit.

Choosing the best fruit means avoiding brown spots, dents or bruises in apples and soft dimpling in citrus fruits. All should feel heavy for their size. Although bananas are often sold green, they should not be eaten until they are yellow. The brown spots indicate that the banana is converting its pulp to sugar. For some people this means it’s too sweet to eat; for others, it’s just right. Grapes (green or red) are one of the few other fruits, like bananas, whose sugar content continues to intensify as they age.

To ripen or not? 
One of the most important facts to know about selecting fruit is to remember which ones continue to ripen after they are picked. This helps us choose based on when we expect to eat the fruit. For example, if you do your weekly shopping on Saturday and buy bananas for consumption the following week, you will want to select those that are still a little green and without any brown spots.

Fruits which ripen after picking include bananas, melons, kiwi, papaya, pears, and stone fruit such as apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums.

Those fruits that do not ripen after they have been picked include grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, pineapple, tangerines and watermelons.

Ripe stone fruit should give slightly when squeezed, smell like the fruit they are, and be heavy for their size. Ideally, apricots, nectarines and peaches should be eaten as close to picking as possible.

Color and smell 
Colorful fruits aren’t just aesthetically pleasing; the colors are a guide to condition. Generally, the deeper and more intense the color, the better the fruit.

Meanwhile, unlike vegetables, fragrance is your most likely indicator to ripeness in most fruits. Let your nose do the walking!

Treat it correctly 
OK, you’ve picked out some great fruit. How do you keep it in great condition and ensure that it’s in the best condition to eat?

Many people are concerned about the amount of pesticides that are used in our fields as well as on the crops in foreign countries. As a result, many now buy certified organic produce. But whether you buy organic or conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, be sure to wash before you consume them.

For berries, wash them only prior to eating to avoid growing mold. For core or stone fruit, wash prior to eating. Most stone fruit can be kept at room temperature for a day or two, but apples or fruit at its absolute prime should be refrigerated if not eaten that day.

Stay tuned for part two!