Friday, June 5, 2009

How to pick the best fruit

We're back! Our vacation was wonderful, but now I'm ready to get back to work. All orders placed last week will be put on the new order list and I'll work on getting them out as soon as possible.

In the meantime I wanted to share some wonderful tips on picking the best fruit. I love having fresh fruit all summer, but I really hate it when I pick something that ends up being not so yummy. (Tips are from Or So She Says) Here you go:

Bananas - You already know how to pick bananas, but did you know...if you store them on their backs they bruise more? That's why some people hang their bananas. Also, if you store them on their side, they will ripen faster.

Honeydew - Should smell sweet. Give it a knock on the side, you want to hear a deep sound, meaning "dense". You don't want a higher, hollow sound.

Oranges - Smell them, they should smell sweet. The color of the orange doesn't necessarily equate to ripeness. The color is a product of the climate it was raised in. Take a few that are the same size, always pick the heavier ones.

Watermelon - Unfortunately, smelling doesn't work. Flick it with your fingers and hope to hear a pingy hollow sound rather than a dull thud. It takes practice! Look for dark green in color with bits of yellows and pale green on it. Notice if their is a worn section on one side where the watermelon had been resting on the ground on the vine, that's a good sign. Also, you can scratch the green surface and if it's white underneath then it's ripe. If you're trying to decide between a couple, take the heavier one. Try to store watermelon's whole, it will last longer. Cut watermelon loses it's quality much faster!

Strawberries - Picking strawberries is fairly easy because if there is anything gross about them, it shows. You can smell strawberries. They should obviously emit a strong strawberry smell. You don't want pink or greenish in color because strawberries will NOT ripen further after they have been picked. So, only buy luscious red. Also, smaller strawberries have more flavor than bigger ones. When you get them home you should rinse them and store in an airtight container in the fruit drawer of the fridge.
Peaches - The best time to buy peaches is August and September. Peaches should be firm, but not rock hard. They should be golden with a red blush and smell sweet. If they don't smell like peaches, avoid them. Don't store these in the refrigerator. They will get mushy. Place them in a brown paper bag on the counter for a day or two, then eat!

Grapes - You want the stems to be beige to brown, none of this green stuff or they aren't ripe. On green grapes you want a slightly yellow hue. On red grapes, you'll want a deep green. The best grapes are U.S. grown (not just because I'm patriotic) and are sold from July to December.

Kiwi - You will want plenty of fuzz on them and they need to feel firm, but not rock hard. They should give slightly when pressed.
Pineapple - This is all about smell. It should overwhelm you with pineapple smell for you to pick it. You don't want any green tips on the spikes. Heavier is usually better.

Mango - You want some give when you press on a mango. They should have a sweet smell on the stem side and should be yellowish in color.

Grapefruit - You want heavy grapefruits. Handle a few and feel the weight of them. They should give a little to the pressure of your thumb.

Pears - Your pear should look pretty and be firm. Store them in a brown paper bag for a few days on your counter.

Cantaloupes - Smell it. It should smell sweet. It should also be a goldish/orange underneath the "web". If it's green underneath, it's not ripe. It should be slightly softer when you press with your thumb on the stem side. The best time to get cantaloupes is June, July and August.

Plums - These should be a deep color and shouldn't be too firm or too soft, in the middle.

Hope this helps you have a yummier summer!