Weather you are selecting fruits individually, or by the case, always inspect them, and make sure they appear fresh. Fresh fruits are firm and generally free from bruising and scars. If you have any questions, address them as you shop. Be mindful of any information regarding the fruit’s origin. After a bulk purchase, make it a priority to go through the case. Check for any smashed, damaged, or rotten fruit at the bottom of the case and discard it appropriately
Knowing how to select fruits at the peak of freshness is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy diet. The determining factor is your intended use. Generally, as fruits ripen, their sugars become more concentrated. In addition, cooking fruits elevates their sweetness. For baking, produce doesn’t necessarily have to be freshly picked. If you are using a cold-press juicer, however, ultimate freshness is recommended. For cooking such as frying or stir-frying, it may depend on the type of fruit.
Cantaloupe – When shopping for cantaloupe, the degree of green you see on the surface, and in the area of the stem will determine if it’s ready to eat. If you want a cantaloupe you can eat immediately, look for more of a yellow or golden tint on the surface. As with most fruits, steer clear of bruising. Cantaloupe should generally have a round, smooth surface, and the area of the stem should be firm. If you buy cantaloupe when green, you can accelerate the ripening process by placing the cantaloupe in a paper bag at room temperature, or facing sunlight. The greenest cantaloupes will likely have a storage life of around seven days.
Grapes – Based on location, climate, and terrain, there are a broad range of grape varieties. From thin to dense skinned grapes, and dusky blue to champagne color tones. Seedless, or seeded, grapes generally grow on vines. When selecting, look for grape bunches that are dry and free of mold in, and around vine clusters.
Bananas – For immediate consumption, look for bananas that are yellow. If you intend to eat them within a week, (their estimated storage life), select bananas that are green.There are several brands to choose from, as well as organic. Organic bananas tend to have a more enhanced color, flavor, and fragrance.
Mangoes – Rich colors can inform you of the level of a mango’s sweetness. Red and orange tones in mango indicate a sweeter fruit. Hard, firm mangos are good for frying or pickling. For snacking, mangos are good when eaten somewhere between firm and soft. Once soft, tor over-ripe, they can develop a repelling gassy taste or smell. *Note: This is in reference to the most popular variety found at many grocery stores throughout the U.S.
Citrus Fruits – Oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, mandarins, lemons, and limes. Citrus fruits can sometimes be
deceptive. Before committing to a large purchase, buy a small quantity to taste. Surface markings, particularly on oranges and grapefruits are not uncommon. Mandarins, and tangerines are typically less acidic than oranges, and grapefruits.
Pineapple – For a longer storage life, select pineapple with a greener body. Golden to dark brown indicates the level of ripeness. If you want a ripe pineapple that you can eat right away, golden tones are a good indicator of a sweet pineapple.
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