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How can you tell when a fruit is ripe?

Caitlin Espejo

Author

Here at Grow Inn Homes, we grow quite a number of fruits. We would love for our tenants to enjoy them just as much as we do. Sometimes, people may not know when a fruit is ripe and ready to be eaten. We would like to educate others so when the time comes to pick these fruits, they know which one to pluck off of the tree. In this blog, we will be giving tips on how to identify when a fruit is ready to be enjoyed.

There are many fruits that we can talk about in terms of finding out when it is ripe enough to eat, however, we will generalize it and break it down in steps.

  • Step 1 – Color

    When looking at a fruit, the first thing you will notice is the color. In most cases, a light green color on the peel or rind of a fruit will indicate that it isn’t ripe yet. Once the green color disappears, and turns to a yellow or orange color, for most fruits, you will have the perfect fruit. The color of the fruit can also predict how it will taste. For example, if you look at a banana, a green colored banana will tell you that it is not ready to eat yet and it will not taste as sweet as the yellow bananas do. The more yellow it gets the sweeter it will be. The same goes for other fruits such as pineapples and mangos. When choosing pineapples, you can look in the grooves of the rind to see how much green is left. If there is still a little color of green, it’s fine, however, the less green the better. Chances are that the fruit is ready to be picked and eaten. 

  • Step 2 – Weight

    Fruits that are ripe are heavier compared to those that aren’t. This is due to the breakdown of the fruit’s starches which make the fruit softer and sometimes juicier. Fruits that are lighter are either hard or immature. Sometimes, people do purchase immature fruits, so that later on during the week when they do want to enjoy it, when it is ripe. However, when you have fruits in your backyard, it’s great to leave them on the branch until you’re ready to enjoy it.

  • Step 3 – Pressure/Texture
    In order to find out if a fruit is ripe based on its texture, gently squeeze the fruit to assess its firmness. You can also place your thumb on the thickest part of the fruit and slowly apply pressure in order to not break the skin or bruise the fruit. The softer the fruit, the more ripe it is. Ripe fruits are usually slightly soft to the touch, but not mushy. However, this varies among different fruits. For example, avocados and peaches should yield slightly to gentle pressure, while apples and watermelons should feel firm. You can also check the skin for any blemishes, bruises, or signs of decay. While some blemishes might not affect the quality of the fruit, extensive damage could indicate overripeness.
  • Step 4 – Smell

    Ripe fruits often emit a sweet, pleasant aroma, however it should not be overpowering. Hold the fruit close to your nose and smell it. If it has a strong and sweet scent, it’s likely ripe. If it is too ripe, you will start to smell the breakdown of the sugars as the fermentation process begins. This method is particularly effective for fruits like melons, pineapples, and mangos.

  • Step 5 – Checking the stem if there is any on the fruit

    For fruits with stems, such as berries, cherries, and grapes, the stem area should be plump and attached to the fruit. If the stem is dry and shriveled, the fruit might be overripe.

By using these five easy steps, you will be able to tell whether your fruits are ripe or not.

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