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Kendrah
January 24th, 2006, 01:41 PM
I am new to the world of buying fruits and veggies. Often I don't know if the fruit/veggie is ripe or not, so for all you good people, could you list the fruits and veggies you know and how to tell if they are ripe or not. The only one I'm really good with is apples... ;) I need a lot of help!

Thanks a bunch!

Kendrah
January 24th, 2006, 01:47 PM
And while you're at it, where to put said fruits and veggies. (In the fridge or on the counter, such)

Ceres
January 24th, 2006, 01:53 PM
Watermelon sounds hollow when you knock on it, cantalope and honeydew melon will have no give when you squeeze it, but when you smell the end with the circle scar on it, it should smell strongly of the fruit inside. Pineapple is ripe when the topmost leaves pull out easily. Peaches will smell strongly and have just the slightest give when you squeeze them, or alternatively, when you can pull away a bit of skin from the stem area easily. Kiwi should have slight give when squeezed. Bananas of course should be yellow, but for optimum sweetness with no squishy bits, there should be a few tiny black spots. Berries should be firm with no juice seeping through the bottom of the container.

I never yet bought a mango that tastes ripe, so if anyone knows how to buy these, please post!

Ceres
January 24th, 2006, 01:55 PM
I refrigerate lettuce, carrots, spinach celery and green onions, berries and any fruit thats been cut. Everything else stays out.

WitchJezebel
January 24th, 2006, 02:33 PM
Pineapple is ripe when the topmost leaves pull out easily.

I never yet bought a mango that tastes ripe, so if anyone knows how to buy these, please post!

The method you stated for pineapples isn't true (I found that out not long ago). I used to use that as an indicator as well but I found out that once pineapples are picked they won't ripen any more. You should smell the bottom end of the pineapple and if it smells very fruity, it should be sweet and the color should be mostly rust/yellow/orange color with little green on it. The green side hasn't gotten as much sun so only a small patch of it is optimal.

As for mangoes, they should give to gentle pressure when ripe. You can buy them underripe and put them in a paper bag and check on them daily until soft but not squishy.

A tip for keeping celery crisp, green onions fresher and even whole heads of lettuce like romaine or green leaf (not iceberg). Put a dry paper towel on the root end and slip the veggie into the bag. The paper towel will absorb excess moisture and keep it fresher longer. Also, don't completely seal a bag with lettuce when storing, it needs air to circulate so it doesn't get slimy.

mucgwyrt
January 27th, 2006, 09:50 AM
Tomatoes are usually picked green by supermarkets, and displayed for sale when they -just- turn a weak red. To make them nicely red and juicy, keep them in a bowl on your windowsil - they wont ripen any more in the fridge, and will just go off, missing that nice ripe phase out completely - and use them when they're bright red, but not too squishy. Squishy ones (i.e. ones you leave too long!) can be used in sauces (e.g. pasta sauce). We find they keep for a few weeks on the windowsil, although they rarely get left that long before being eaten!

Passionfruit are ripe when the skin goes all wrinkly, NOT when the skin is smooth - those are too young. This is quite good, because most people buy the "nice" smooth ones, and leave the ripe wrinkly ones for me to buy up *muah ha ha!*

Needless to say, lettuce should not be soggy and brown and covered in a light film of sludge. And yes, I have seen them on sale that way :sick:

WitchJezebel
January 27th, 2006, 11:27 AM
Tomatoes are usually picked green by supermarkets, and displayed for sale when they -just- turn a weak red. To make them nicely red and juicy, keep them in a bowl on your windowsil - they wont ripen any more in the fridge, and will just go off, missing that nice ripe phase out completely - and use them when they're bright red, but not too squishy. Squishy ones (i.e. ones you leave too long!) can be used in sauces (e.g. pasta sauce). We find they keep for a few weeks on the windowsil, although they rarely get left that long before being eaten!

Passionfruit are ripe when the skin goes all wrinkly, NOT when the skin is smooth - those are too young. This is quite good, because most people buy the "nice" smooth ones, and leave the ripe wrinkly ones for me to buy up *muah ha ha!*

Needless to say, lettuce should not be soggy and brown and covered in a light film of sludge. And yes, I have seen them on sale that way :sick:

Definitely keep tomatoes out of the fridge, they'll turn mealy - good call. When you keep them to ripen, store them stem side down until they're ready and then turn them stem side up.

I haven't had passionfruit in so long!! I love that tart taste; I'll have to check my supermarket, I think they carry them.

mucgwyrt
January 27th, 2006, 12:22 PM
Definitely keep tomatoes out of the fridge, they'll turn mealy - good call. When you keep them to ripen, store them stem side down until they're ready and then turn them stem side up.

I haven't had passionfruit in so long!! I love that tart taste; I'll have to check my supermarket, I think they carry them.
I've not heard the stem-down part, we just keep them higgledy-piggeldy out of ignorance ;) - ?

Passionfruit is so yummy - Tom (my partner) calls it snot fruit and refuses to try it though - his loss!

WitchJezebel
January 27th, 2006, 01:36 PM
I've not heard the stem-down part, we just keep them higgledy-piggeldy out of ignorance ;) - ?

Passionfruit is so yummy - Tom (my partner) calls it snot fruit and refuses to try it though - his loss!

Not ignorance, they'll ripen anyway, but I hear they'll be sweeter and ripen faster if you do it that way. When I can't get homegrown tomatoes and the market is the only option (our farmers market is down for the winter) then those market toms need all the sweetening they can get!

Can you find the passionfruit pulp in your market? It's in the freezer section and you can thaw it and mix with water to make juice out of it, it's fantastic on a hot summer day!! Brings me back to days spent in Puerto Rico with my grandfather who had a tree on his property.

halfwaynowhere
January 27th, 2006, 01:49 PM
if i go shopping and have trouble picking good produce, i usually ask the produce person for help... part of it also depends on how you like your fruit though, as Radikalwomyn said about the bananas having a few very tiny black spots on them, i refuse to eat them this way, i buy mine when they still have a bit of green on them, and i eat them when they are solidly yellow. they are a bit firm, and sweet, but not too much... so it depends on what you like, too... depending on the item, bigger isn't always better... large oranges may look yummy, but i find that they are usually pretty bland, while the smaller ones are packed with flavor... apples should have their stems on when you buy them, if the stems are off, it could indicate a worm in your apple. plus, the stems help keep the apples fresh. avoid apples with soft spots, the skin should be tight, the apples should be hard and crisp... if i think of anything else, i'll let you know...
oh, and how are you supposed to eat passion fruit? we have a vine, and i love them, but i always have trouble eating them, i think i do it wrong...

mucgwyrt
January 28th, 2006, 02:22 PM
Not ignorance, they'll ripen anyway, but I hear they'll be sweeter and ripen faster if you do it that way. When I can't get homegrown tomatoes and the market is the only option (our farmers market is down for the winter) then those market toms need all the sweetening they can get!

Can you find the passionfruit pulp in your market? It's in the freezer section and you can thaw it and mix with water to make juice out of it, it's fantastic on a hot summer day!! Brings me back to days spent in Puerto Rico with my grandfather who had a tree on his property.
no, we dont get passionfruit pulp, what a great idea though! Do you guys get Dragonfruit over there? Never seen any here in England's supermarkets, but we had some in Cambodia and they're the most refreshing fruit ever :)

The thing with passionfruit is to not crunch the seeds - just cut the fruit in half and eat the inside with a spoon - I guess I kind of suck the seeds and then swallow it all (man, that sounds so dirty :T)

RunningBear
January 28th, 2006, 05:03 PM
If the fruit you have bought turns out to be under ripe you can speed up the ripening process by storing it with some bananas in and enclosed, but not sealed space, such as a drawer. The bananas help to increase the amount of ethylene gas which helps the fruit ripen. Check every day or it will all soon be too ripe. I haven't tried this with tomatoes though.

WitchJezebel
January 29th, 2006, 12:52 PM
If the fruit you have bought turns out to be under ripe you can speed up the ripening process by storing it with some bananas in and enclosed, but not sealed space, such as a drawer. The bananas help to increase the amount of ethylene gas which helps the fruit ripen. Check every day or it will all soon be too ripe. I haven't tried this with tomatoes though.

An apple will also help ethylene gas production.

Krystalin
January 30th, 2006, 03:31 AM
I've found that choosing fruits like apples and oranges that are heavy for their size compared to others tend to be very juicey. Avoid light weighted ones.

Silvan
February 19th, 2006, 03:01 AM
I never yet bought a mango that tastes ripe, so if anyone knows how to buy these, please post!I think you have to buy one in South America directly. The only mango I've ever had that actually tasted like anything was from my Spanish teacher. It was like a cross between a peach and a cantaloupe. Very interesting, and delicious, but sadly, not repeatable.

Based on what she said about these things, which mostly went in one ear and out the other, the mango is really a very complicated fruit. We probably just normally get crappy ones in the US.

Starry Night
March 1st, 2006, 11:07 PM
Did you know that the melon cantelope is actually called Musk Melon ..Because of the musky smell it give off when you sniff the end.

WitchJezebel
March 2nd, 2006, 01:12 PM
Do you guys get Dragonfruit over there? Never seen any here in England's supermarkets, but we had some in Cambodia and they're the most refreshing fruit ever :)

I don't think I've ever seen Dragonfruit in any markets, but that's not to say they're not available. I'd probably have to check the markets in Manhattan for them, I doubt they'd have them here in the outer boroughs.