How to Pick Ripe Fruit

Fresh fruit is an important part of any diet. However, fruits are only tasty when they're ripe. Below are some tips for selecting ripe fruits.

General Tips


  • Check the color. Color is often an important indicator of ripeness. Strawberries should be deep red, bananas should be yellow and oranges should be orange.
  • Squeeze the fruit. Some fruits, like apples should be firm, while others, like peaches, shouldn't be as firm.
  • Check the stems. Some fruits, like pears and cantaloupes, should be a bit softer around the stem.
  • Smell the fruit. The fragrance of a ripe fruit should be quite noticeable when you pick it up.
  • Look for the luster. Some fruits, like apples and cherries, should have a waxy, shiny appearance.[source: Fine Cooking]

Selected fruits

  • Watermelon Look for a cut watermelon that's deep red. When buying a whole watermelon, look for one that's firm. Slap it and see if it sounds hollow. Make sure it has a yellow area on one side. If there's no yellow area, it may have been harvested too early.
  • Cantaloupe Your cantaloupe should smell sweet. However if it smells too sweet, it may be over ripe.
  • Pineapple A ripe pineapple should have a sweet smell, especially near the stem. Make sure the pineapple doesn't have any dark spots.
  • BananasRipe bananas are yellow. If you don't plan to eat them for a few days, you can buy green bananas and let them ripen at home. Remember not to put green bananas in the refrigerator, because it will stop the ripening process.
  • Plums Squeeze your plums before buying them. Plums are ripe when they give a little when squeezed and have a deep color. If they're a bit hard they will ripen at home. However, very hard plums may not ripen.[Source: Six Wise]