With such bountiful options at the grocery store, it’s hard to know how to pick produce that won’t disappoint when you get them home. Here are some foolproof ways pick the most elusive fruits and veges.
- Avocado: It should be soft (but not mushy) when given a light squeeze. You can also remove the woody stem; if the color underneath is greenish-yellow, it’s ripe. If it’s brown, it’s probably past its prime. Ripen and unripe avocado by leaving it on the counter for a few days.
- Cantaloupe: Smell the end of it (where the stem was cut off); it should have a sweet, cantaloupe-y smell. It should also be heavy for its size.
- Mango: There are so many varieties of mango that you can’t go by color. Instead, squeeze it lightly; it should give slightly.
- Peaches: A peach should smell sweet and feel soft (but not mushy) if you give it a light squeeze. To ripen under-ripe peaches, place them in a paper sack on the counter (not the refrigerator) until they soften.
- Pineapple: Pluck out one of the leaves from the stem; it should come out fairly easily when ripe. It should also smell sweet, not vinegary (which indicates it’s overripe).
- Plums: Fruit should be slightly soft with a smooth skin. Don’t judge by color, as many plums are the same color when the begin to grow as when they are ripe. Avoid plums that are either too hard or too mushy.
- Watermelon: When you tap on it, a watermelon should sound hollow. It should be heavy for its size (full of water, naturally).
- Corn on the Cob: The husks should be green and not dried-out looking. Also, the silk should cling to the kernels, which should be plump.
- Eggplant: The cap should be bright green and the skin should be a deep color without blemishes. When you squeeze it, the skin should remain firm and elastic.
- Iceberg Lettuce: It should feel lightweight for its size. Leaves should be vibrant green and not have a rusty color.
- Mushrooms: Look at the bottom of the mushroom; the head should still be connected to the stem, not shriveled and pulling away.
- Tomatoes: (Yes, I’m counting tomatoes as a vegetable because that’s mostly how I use them. You can chastise me in the comments!) Skin should be firm and tight, and it should be heavy for its size. Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator, as it breaks down their flavor. Instead, store them on the counter.
Do you have tips for picking good fruits and veges? Share them in the comments below.