Are your fruits and veggies ripe to perfection?
Did you cut into a fresh veggie that you just bought off a grocery store shelf only to make its way to the bin? If only you knew how to choose that perfectly ripe watermelon, you would have mastered that Watermelon Piña Colada served at your brunch party. Or, perhaps you’re used to bringing home a carton of berries only to be disappointed the next morning. At Pluckk, we do everything to ensure that fresh produce from the farms reaches you with the shortest food mileage and minimal handling. However, here are a few tips to keep handy the next time you shop for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Don’t go by the looks always
Most of us shop with our eyes. If you are solely dependent on appearance, you are sure to miss out on a combination of elements like – flavor, juice, and in the case of fruits – sweetness. For example, the berries with the perfect shape and color may appear to be straight out of an advertisement – but they could turn out to be dry, bland, and even hard. If you’ve tried your hand at organic farming, you’ll know that even though berries can be ugly looking, lumpy, and imperfect in color, they can very well be fresh, aromatic, and juicy. Appearance may not predict the perfect berries, however, if you do smell a hint of mold, fermentation, or ever foulness, you know they may not survive the next morning.
Seasonal veggies are your best bet
The next time you go veggie shopping, check for firmness and color consistency across the veggie’s surface. In case of leafy vegetables, check for wilting or browning of the leaves. Smell may not be the best determiner of vegetable freshness, however, check for an overly sweet or sour smell that may indicate that the product has passed its prime. Pick veggies that are seasonal and put off veggie shopping when the weather is inclement for days together. Additionally, to get the most of your veggie shopping, purchase and consume vegetables as frequently as possible.
Wait until you weigh
Large fruit is an indicator of coarseness and may have been harvested tad too late. On the other hand, a smaller fruit could have been harvested way too earlier. The next time you head to the produce section, check for similar-sized fruits or veggies and weigh them. Chances are, the heavier produce has more water content and is, therefore, your best buy!
Give ‘em a good squeeze
While vegetables should feel sturdy, fruits shouldn’t feel too hard, or else they may not have fully ripened. When the surface of the fruit feels rough or coarse, chances are that the water content of the fruit has withered away. Carrots, onions, potatoes, and cucumbers, must feel firm on squeezing. Tomatoes, citruses, and bananas shouldn’t be squishy, wrinkled, or wilted.
How about a little thump?
Here is a tried and tested method to pick the best melons. Along with a combination of smell and touch, try thwacking a melon on one hand while you hold it from the other. Do you hear a hollow and full sound? That’s the sound of a melon that was picked just in time. If it smells sweet and gives in when touched, well, you know you’ve made the right choice by bringing those melons home.
It’s good to understand fruit behaviors when picking them before or after ripening. For example – apples, papayas, and kiwi get sweeter after they are picked, while bananas and avocados ripen only after picking. Olives, litchis, and watermelon never ripen after picking, while peaches, passionfruit, and figs ripen in color, texture, and juiciness but not in sweetness after picking. So, pick wisely!
Whether shopping online or in-person, be rest assured that Pluckk puts great care in meeting your most stringent specifications and ensures stocking its produce department with only the highest quality. Now that you know how to select fresh fruits and vegetables, be sure to take advantage of these tips and choose the best produce!