Buying produce can get very expensive. So there’s nothing more disappointing than bringing a bunch of fruit home, only to find out that it has gone bad a day or two later.
Fortunately, there are many tips you can bring with you to the grocery store to ensure that you are picking the most perfect fruits on the shelves. You might even want to print off this list for the next time you plan on stocking up your fridge with yummy fruits.
You may have noticed that many watermelons have white-yellowish spots on them. Although you may think those spots
make the watermelon unhealthy, they are actually just field spots — the spot where the watermelon has rested on the ground while growing. The best, most flavorful watermelons generally have cream-yellow or orange-yellow field spots.
You may have also noticed the webbing that covers some watermelons. Again, this webbing does not mean the watermelon is unhealthy. It simply reveals how many times bees have come in contact with the watermelon flower. The more webbing you see, the sweeter the watermelon will be.
This might sound weird to you, but there are actually “boy” and “girl” watermelons. The boy watermelons tend to be longer and taller, with a taste that’s more watery. The girl watermelons are the rounder ones, and are usually much more sweet.
While we may be tempted to pick the biggest watermelon on the shelf, this doesn’t guarantee that the watermelon will be the best one. Instead of picking the biggest one, just go for an average-sized watermelon.
Additionally, the stem or “tail” of a watermelon can tell us how ripe it is. If a watermelon has a green tail, it usually means it was picked too soon. Go for a watermelon with a dried, brownish tail. These ones are usually just right.
Although we may be tempted to pick out the brightest, most yellow pineapple, that doesn’t mean it’s the best one. As a rule, you just want to make sure you don’t pick out a super green one. This usually means the pineapple isn’t ripe yet.
People say that a pineapple is ripe when you can pull out one of the middle leaves with ease. However, if you can pull out one of the leaves with little-to-no effort, the pineapple may be too ripe and mushy on the inside. Basically, the easier the leaves are to pluck out, the riper the pineapple is getting.
Your next step in picking the perfect pineapple is to give it a little squeeze. If the pineapple is rock-hard, it is not ripe yet and will not be very sweet. You want a pineapple that you can squeeze a little bit, but not one that is super soft.
Another thing you can do to check a pineapple’s ripeness is to flip it over and give it a smell. If the pineapple has a fresh and subtly sweet aroma, it is ripe enough to eat. If you smell nothing, the pineapple is not ripe enough yet. If the pineapple has an overpoweringly sweet aroma, the pineapple may be too ripe.
Your first step in picking the perfect cantaloupe is to examine it for any bruises, deep scratches, or mold. Once you’ve done that, you can move on to the next step.
If you’re looking for a cantaloupe you can eat the second you take it home, try to find one that doesn’t have any green in the skin. You should be looking for one that has a beige skin color with maybe just a hint of green to it. The really green skin means the cantaloupe isn’t ripe yet.
You can also pick up a few cantaloupes and compare their weights. Generally speaking, the heavier cantaloupes are the ones you want to take home. The next thing you want to do is to gently push on the bottom end of the cantaloupe. If the fruit gives a little bit to a gentle press, it is ripe enough to eat. However, if the fruit seems extremely soft, the cantaloupe may already be going mushy inside.
As with pineapples, another thing you can do is to give the cantaloupe a sniff. If it has a slightly sweet aroma, the cantaloupe is likely ripe. If the fruit smells too sweet, it is likely already going bad.
Now that you know these helpful tips for picking the perfect fruits, you can save money and enjoy the best fruit possible.
Originally appeared in homemaking.com