Spring is here and that means more delicious fruit for us to enjoy! As we all know, choosing ripe fruit can really take some talent and luck. When you can’t trust the ‘squeeze’ test, how else can you tell when your fruit is ripe? Whether you’re finding it at the supermarket or waiting patiently for a few mangoes to ripen at home, here’s how to choose your fruit wisely for minimal wait time!
For many fruits, including bananas, smell is usually a good indicator for ripeness. If you smell a banana and it doesn’t have a sweet aroma, it most likely needs more time. Another important indicator is colour. Green bananas are not ripe at all, while yellow bananas with some black spots are ready for eating. Everyone likes their fruit at differing states of ripeness – if you like your bananas very ripe, wait for black spots. If you like them still firm, get them while they’re yellow.
Ripening Tip: Bananas tend to ripen more rapidly when bunched together, so don’t be too eager to split up the gang. If you’re absolutely desperate for that vitamin-filled fruit snack, you can also try the microwave method. Puncture some holes into each side of the banana and microwave for about half a minute. Repeat until your desired ripeness has been achieved.
Did you know that strawberries don’t ripen once they’ve been picked? This means your choice at the supermarket is even more important for this fruit. Here’s how to tell a good punnet of strawberries from the bad:
- Strawberries smell as good as they taste, so try the smell test.
- Ripe strawberries should be bright red and free from blemishes.
- If a strawberry is white under its leaves, it’s probably been picked too early.
The mango is undoubtedly the staple Aussie fruit. Sweet and delicious, it’s hard to wait around for mangoes to ripen – so you want to be sure you’ve chosen some pretty good ones at the shop! Some things to consider when choosing your mangoes:
- Colour is not indicative of its ripeness.
- Check the ripeness of mangoes by touch—if it gives slightly under very slight pressure, it’s ready for consumption.
- Generally, mangoes will also give off a sweet and fruity aroma from the stem end when ripe.
Ripening Tip: If your mangoes aren’t quite delicious just yet, simply keep them in a fruit bowl at room temperature – they should be ripe and ready to delight your tastebuds within a day or two!
When it comes to this spiky fruit, the touch test is out of the question. If you’re after a ripe pineapple, be sure to look out for:
- A nice golden brown colour on its body. A pineapple that is yet to ripen will be a dark green colour.
- An aromatic, sweet scent. If a pineapple doesn’t have a smell, it is not yet ready for eating. If it smells a bit vinegary, it’s overripe.
- Its leaves should be healthy green and the fruit itself should feel heavy.
Yes, avocado is technically a ‘dry’ fruit! And like the fruits above, the avocado can be very tricky to determine whether it’s ripe or not. While the squeeze test alone provides some good results, it can also be wrong. Here’s how to tell when an avocado is ready for making that guacamole:
- Try flicking the stem off. If it is brown, the avocado is overripe. If it yellowish green, it’s good!
- The avocado should be firm but yield under gentle pressure.
- Pay attention to colour. Hass avocados tend to darken as they ripen.
Ripening Tip: You can speed up the ripening process by storing your avocados in brown paper bags. This encourages quicker ripening by trapping the ethylene gas the avocados produce. You can get things moving even faster by placing an apple or banana in the bag as well. It might seem like magic, but it’s actually science – and it works!