How to Select, How to Prepare and How to Store Fruits

Best seasons to buy fruits

The best time to buy fruit is at the peak of its season, when it has optimum flavor, texture and color. Its price is at its lowest, also, when it’s in season.

How to Store Fruits

In the warmer months it’s best to keep fruit in the refrigerator, with the exception of bananas (their skins turn black but the flesh remains fine). The fruit and vegetable compartments are the best place for fruit in the refrigerator. Berries should be placed in a bowl lined with absorbent paper and stored in the refrigerator. Fruit that needs to be ripened should be stored at room temperature and stored in the refrigerator when it’s ripe. If fruit is cut, wrap it well in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. Many people believe that fruit should not be eaten straight from the refrigerator, that its flavor is better when it’s close to room temperature. I tend to disagree. I think there is nothing better than a cold peach or mango on a hot summer day.

How to Select Fruits

Purchase fruit in season that is firm and of good color, without blemishes or bruises.

To choose melons, tap them with the heel of your hand. They should sound full. Rockmelons and honeydew melons are easily tested for ripeness by their smell at the stalk end. The ends should be firm with a little movement.

Apples should be firm with undamaged skin.

Pears ripen from the inside out, so choose firm, plump pears with undamaged skin.

Stone fruits should be firm with undamaged skin, which should be bright, not dull and wilted.

Citrus fruits should be heavy for their size and have undamaged, glossy skin.

Figs should be soft and plump with a sweet smell. Figs with a slightly sour smell are overripe.

How-to-Select-How-to-Prepare-and-How-to-Store-Fruits
How-to-Select-How-to-Prepare-and-How-to-Store-Fruits

Grapes should have fresh green stalks and plump fruit. Avoid grapes with split skins. Green grapes are ripe when they have a yellowish tinge and dark grapes are ripe when they have no green tinge.

Nashi should have good weight for their size, which indicates they are full of juice.

Mangoes should have smooth, unblemished, firm skin with a wonderful smell.

How to Prepare Fruits

Some fruits, such as bananas and apples, brown when cut and the flesh is exposed to the air. To avoid browning, brush the cut surfaces with a little lemon juice. For nutritional reasons, peel fruit only if necessary. Wash fruit well under cold running water before preparing.