Tips for Selecting the Best Summer Fruit

Tips for Selecting the Best Summer Fruit
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Summertime brings with it a bounty of fresh fruits, but consumers often have no idea how to choose the best fruit. This can lead to the frustration of lackluster fruit, which can make all the difference in the quality of your dining experience. Keep these handy tips in mind when choosing summer fruit and youÂ’ll always get the pick of the crop.


* When buying fresh blueberries look for firm, dry fruit that is smooth and relatively free of stems and leaves.

* While size is not an indicator of maturity, color is. Berries should be deep purple-blue to blue-black in color.

* Reddish berries aren't ripe, although they may be used in cooking.

* Avoid containers of berries with juice stains, which may be a sign that the berries are crushed and possibly moldy.

* Soft, watery fruit means that berries are overripe, while wrinkled fruit means they have been stored too long.

* Fresh berries should be stored covered, in the refrigerator.

* Wash just before using and use within 6 days of purchase.


* Look for a nice rounded shape.

* Golden colored melons are at the peak of ripeness.

* Green melons will ripen at room temperature in a couple of days.

* Choose a cantaloupe with evenly distributed "netting" or the markings on the fruitÂ’s surface.

* A ripe cantaloupe should give off a mild melon aroma.

Honeydew Melon

* A ripe honeydew has a creamy yellow rind thatÂ’s slightly soft.

* If your melon is completely ripe, hold at room temperature for 2-4 days before cutting>

* Like the cantaloupe, ripe fruit will give off a mild sweet melon aroma.

Kiwi Fruit

* Ripe fruit should give to gentle pressure but not be overly mushy.

* Look for uniform brown color and fuzzy skin.

* Juicy fruit will feel heavy for its size.


*Ripe fruit can range from green or green with red and/or orange in color.

* Ripe mangos will yield to gentle pressure but should not be overly mushy.

* Look for smooth unblemished skin.

* Fruit that feels heavy for its size will be most juicy.

*Mangos continue to ripen after picking. Store at room temperature for 2-5 days to ripen.


* Ripe papayas can range in color from yellow-green to yellow-orange.

* Look for smooth unblemished skin

* Papayas are harvested unripe and green; however they will ripen in 3-5 days at room temperature.

* Ripe papayas will keep refrigerated for about a week.


* Look for fruit that feels heavy for its size, a sign of juiciness.

* Look for smooth unblemished skin.

* Fruit will continue to ripen after itÂ’s picked. Speed along the ripening process by storing at room temperature in a brown paper bag for a day or two.

* Ripe fruit should be soft enough to yield to the touch, but not overly mushy.

* Ripe fruit will give off a delicate sweet aroma.


* The most important indicator of a ripe pineapple is scent. Pick up a pineapple, turn it over and smell the bottom – if it has a mild, sweet aroma of pineapple, you have a ripe fruit. The less scent, the less ripe the pineapple. If the scent is overpowering, the fruit may even be too ripe and won’t keep long.

* Pineapples do not ripen after they are picked, so itÂ’s important to choose a good one, because your stuck with it in that stage of ripeness, which ill affect the intensity and sweetness of the fruit. Pineapples will soften and lighten in color after picking, but not ripen.

* Dark spots on the bottom of the pineapple are an indication of an overly ripe fruit thatÂ’s starting to go bad.

* Keep in mind that a lot of the fruit is wasted in the pineapple because of the peeling process. The larger the pineapple, the larger the portion of edible fruit.


* Avoid containers of berries with juice stains, which may be a sign that the berries are crushed and possibly moldy.

* Soft, watery fruit means that berries are overripe, while wrinkled fruit means they have been stored too long.

* Fresh berries should be stored covered, in the refrigerator.

* Wash just before using and use within 1-3 days of purchase.


* When buying, look for plump, bright red, fully ripe berries.

* The top leaves should be attached, green and fresh looking.

* The size of the strawberry is not important. All strawberries, large and small, have the potential to be equally sweet and juicy.

* Sort and remove any bruised or damaged berries as soon as possible, being in contact with spoiled fruit can cause good fruit to go bad quicker.

* Place the berries in cool, well ventilated containers (32 to 40°F / 0 to 5°C). The moisture content of fresh strawberries is high, so store uncovered or loosely covered.

* Hull strawberries and rinse gently right before serving. Careful storing and handling will help the berries maintain maximum flavor, color and texture.

* To keep strawberries from absorbing large quantities of water, hull after washing. A salad spinner works well for removing excess water from berries.


* Watermelon will not ripen after it's cut, so it's important to choose carefully.
* Look for firm watermelons with a dull outer skin.
* The bottom of the melon should be pale green to pale yellow or even beginning to turn white.
* When you thump the watermelon, it should give a hollow sign. This favorite testing method isn't always completely accurate however, as sometimes an overly ripe melon will also sound hollow.
* If you're buying sliced watermelon, look for a bright, deeply colored pink to red flesh.
* A lot of fibers or white streaks in a cut piece of watermelon indicate an over ripe, older fruit.

More Summer Fruit Features

Fresh Fruit Syrups

Fresh Strawberries

Watermelon Recipes

Fresh Cherry Recipes


About The Author

Cheri Sicard is the author of "The Great American Handbook: What You Can Do For Your Country Today and Every Day," and the editor of, a favorite net destination for recipes, cooking tutorials, health and fitness information, holiday and entertaining ideas, celebrity chef interviews, cookbook reviews and more. Sign up for their free cooking and recipe newsletters!

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