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Tips and Tricks for Choosing Tasty Fresh Fruit

May 26, 2015 by Dean Simmons, Registered Dietitian

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Do you know how to pick the best tasting fresh fruit? The produce section of the grocery store can be a bit overwhelming with all the colours, textures, and smells. But, it’s worth learning how to pick the best of the bunch. Time to awaken your senses! Get ready for some hands-on work as you enter the produce section of your local grocery store. This short guide will help you to pick the tastiest fruit all year long.

Avocado & Tomato: (botanically considered as fruit, even though we use them as vegetables)

  • Tomatoes will be heavy for their size (meaning they are full of juice), smooth and firm.
  • Both avocado and tomatoes will give (or yield) slightly when you gently press against the fruit.

Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, black berries

  • All berries should be firm and plump. Berries are highly perishable so be sure to check for mold, especially at the bottom of the package.
  • Strawberries will be sweet-smelling and bright red, with bright green leaves.

Citrus: Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes

  • Citrus fruit should feel firm and heavy for its size.

Mangoes:

  • Choose a plump fruit that gives slightly when you gently press against it. Avoid overly soft or shriveled mangos.

Melons: Cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon

  • Melons should feel heavy for their size. This means they are full of juice.
  • Watermelon will sound hollow when tapped and have a yellow or light coloured patch on the bottom where it sat on the ground to ripen in the sun.
  • Honeydew will smell slightly sweet and will have a golden or creamy colour rind.
  • Cantaloupe will have a sweet musky smell, yellow-gold rind, and give slightly to a gentle pressing at the stem end.

Pineapple:

  • Pineapple should be plump and fresh looking. The leaves in the crown should be fresh and green, and the body should be firm. The fruit should smell sweet. Colour is not a reliable indicator of ripeness.

Stone fruit: Peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums

  • The flesh of the fruit will give slightly when you gently press against it.
  • Peaches, nectarines and apricots are red, orange or yellow coloured with no green.

Did you know that many types of fruit are picked unripe and then ripen on the journey to the store and your home? They’re called climacteric fruit and include:

  • Apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, figs, honeydews, kiwis, mangos, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes.

When purchasing fruit that isn’t fully ripe, avoid those with obvious bruising or cuts as this damage will make the fruit go bad faster. You can ripen these fruits at home on the counter and out of direct sunlight. Place them in a closed bag to speed up the ripening process.

After you’ve handpicked your ripe and delicious fruit you’ll want to either eat it soon, or store it right to preserve its quality. Enjoy your fruit!


Related blogs

Sense’ual Nutrition
Vegetables and Fruits
Shopping Sense: A Virtual Grocery Tour

Recommended resources

Half Your Plate: Recipes
Farm Folk, City Folk: Guide to seasonal produce in southwest BC
Statistics Canada: Canadian fruit and vegetable consumption

 

 

 

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