How to Pick Ripe Fruit

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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

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  • 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]

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