Choosing fresh fruits can be more difficult than it sounds. It takes a lot of observations and keen use of senses to spot which fruit is fresh and which one is not. A fruit can show freshness through its color--the skin usually appears bright and blemish-free when fresh, and turns darker and bruised when old.
However, some types of fruits may appear fresh, even if the condition inside says otherwise. But you can still confirm freshness when these fruits smell sweet and are firm to the touch.
1. Look for apples that are bright-colored and without any bruises.
You can always tell that an apple is fresh when the skin appears lustrous and free from cuts and discolorations. Apples that are bright with small specs of green on the skin may also be fresh--but may not be as tasty as those with solid bright colors. The months of October to November are the best times to buy fresh apples.
2. Inspect the skin surfaces of bananas.
Bruises and soft spots on a banana peel may mean that it's old. Fresh bananas usually appear radiant yellow and are firm to the touch. Bright yellow bananas with little shades of green may also be fresh, but need to be stored at room temperature to ripen completely. Bananas are available year-round, so you can go and buy you fresh ones anytime of the year.
3. Examine the firmness and color of fresh pears. Being firm to touch is one of the many indicators of freshness.
Fresh pears also have lustrous color and smooth skin. The radiance of the color depends on the type of pear you're choosing--fresh Bartlett pears usually appear rich yellow, fresh Anjou and Comice pears often have radiant color of light green to yellowish-green, and fresh Bosc pears appear bright brown-yellow to greenish-yellow in color. Pears are best when bought within the month of November.
4. Go for fresh oranges with bright color, blemish-free and smooth-textured skin.
Fresh oranges may also emit sweet orange scent, are firm and can be heavy for their size. Oranges that are not fresh may look dull, rough, light and spongy. You can buy sweet oranges in good condition from mid-November until February.
5. Choose peaches with smooth skin, and without cuts or bruises to ensure freshness.
Fresh peaches are also firm but somewhat soft when you put pressure on them. For peaches that are fresh but a little bit hard, you can store them in a brown paper bag under room temperature to ripen. These peaches will not be as sweet as those that are already completely ripe. You can buy fresh peaches from July to September.
6. Spot good pineapples by observing their appearance, heaviness and scent.
A fresh pineapple usually has bright yellow, orange or brownish-yellow color; the "eyes" that surround its body may be a bit separated from each other. It may also appear plump and weigh heavy for its size. And when it's freshly ripe, it emits a sweet fragrance that can be smelled within a short distance. You can usually purchase fresh sweet pineapples during the start and peak of summer.
7. Buy strawberries that are bright red in color, and choose those without blemishes and with green caps.
Fresh strawberries are also firm to the touch, have sweet fragrance, appear plump and are dry instead of being moist. Smaller-sized strawberries often are sweeter compared to those of the larger kind. Strawberries are usually at their best from June to early August.
8. Get a watermelon that is lustrous green rind and is free from blemishes, punctures or dents.
A fresh watermelon usually appears plump, firm, weighs heavy for its size and is well-proportioned. You can tell that a watermelon is fully ripe and juicy when you hear a deep and hollow sound as you tap it with your knuckles. If you want to buy sliced watermelons, an indication of freshness would be bright red, firm flesh and dark-colored seeds. Watermelons are usually at their peak from June to late August.