Sometimes buying fruit can feel like a 50/50 gamble. It can look perfect on the outside and then be completely tasteless on the inside. But we should be able to buy melons, berries, and stone fruits without feeling buyer’s remorse. Here’s your guide to finding delicious treats while fruit picking in the produce aisle.
If it smells like a pineapple, it will probably taste like a pineapple. Smell the stem end at the bottom of the fruit. The shell should be golden or bright yellow. Some green is okay, but you want to avoid pineapples with too much green and brown. Make sure the pineapple is firm to the touch with no mushy spots.
The best way to judge a cantaloupe is also by the smell test. Smell the stem end where the melon was attached to the vine. There should be some give when you push on the stem end. A good cantaloupe should feel heavy for its size. Pick up a few different ones to judge weight.
Make sure your honeydew passes the smell test, the weight test, and also has a dull, waxy outer shell rather than shiny. Choose one with a yellow or creamy color with no hints of green. A brown freckling isn’t necessarily a blemish, it’s a sign of sweetness.
A ripe watermelon won’t release as much scent as a cantaloupe or honeydew, so the smell test is less important. Instead, try the tap test. Give the melon a knock and listen for a hollow sound. Choose a melon that feels heavy and has a dull, matte shell rather than a shiny surface.
Smell is good when it comes to peaches, but color is even more important. There should be no green undertones on your peach. The amount of blush on the peach is not as important as the overall background color, which should be vibrant. Give it a gentle squeeze around the stem and feel for a little give.
Look for similar traits as a peach but an all-around even, vibrant color. With all stone fruit, don’t be deterred by freckling, which is a sign of sweetness.
You don’t want a single hint of green on your apricots. Look for a rich golden color, not a pale yellow. Choose apricots that are firm to the touch but not completely hard.
Don’t judge a plum by its color. Depending on the variety, it can range from yellow to red to purple to black. No matter the color, choose a plum that feels heavy with some give, but not overly soft.
Look for plump, firm cherries with an absence of wrinkling around the shoulders. Stems should be green and fresh looking. Rainier Cherries (reddish-yellow variety) will typically be less firm than your basic red cherry.
Don’t buy strawberries with white or green tips, which means they were picked prematurely. It doesn’t matter so much if they’re big or small as long as they’re a solid red. A stained berry container could mean the berries are overripe.
These fragile fruits can spoil extremely quickly, so give the container a shake and make sure there’s no mold. Look for berries that are holding their shape and aren’t releasing their juices.
Look for large, plump berries with a dark blue or greyish-blue color. Avoid berries with any signs of red, which mean they’re not ripe. The surface should have an almost powdery finish.