Selecting a Ripe Food

Selecting a Ripe Food

I have found Many kitchen personnel being confused on selecting the best fruits from the market. Selecting ripe fruit is easy if you know what to look for. Fruits can be classified into:

1. Soft fruit

2. Hard fruits

3. Stone fruits

4. Citrus fruits

5. Tropical fruits

6. Kiwi fruits 

  • Strawberry, Blackberry,  Raspberry are soft fruits.
  • Apple and pear are Hard fruits.
  • Cherry, Mango, peach and plum are stone fruit.
  • Lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, are citrus fruits .
  • Papaya and litchi are kiwi fruits.
  • Bananas, pineapple, Date, Melon are tropical fruits.

There are some tips that may help you to select ripe fruit that will be convenient to take home and eat.

  • Grapes

If white grapes are ripe they will have a yellow tint to them. Red grapes will have a deep colour. Just shake the grape stalk, If more than a grape or two fall off they are overripe and will not taste as good.

  • Kiwi

The skin of the kiwi should be free from bruises. Softly press on the kiwi and if it gives slightly press it is ripe. If you are able to push into this fruit and it has a mushy feel then it is no longer good.

  • Apples

To select a ripe apple look at the skin of the apple. It should be free from bruises. Apples with a lot of green, are not ripe. The apple should be firm to the touch as well. It should not feel hard and should not have a mushy texture either.

  • Oranges

There is an easy way to tell if an orange is ripe. Run your hands around the fruit. It should have a plump feel to it. The surface of the orange will be smooth. It should also feel heavy when held. If the orange passes the above testing then give it a light squeeze. The fingers should be able to bounce back without a problem. The orange should have an oval shape. It if is too round then the orange is under ripe and will have a bitter taste.

  • Tangerine

To tell if this fruit is ripe look at the colour. If there is some green on the fruit that means that it is not ripe. Give the tangerine a light squeeze. Like the orange, if the fruit is ripe, it will bounce back and will not be mushy. The tangerine should also have a bit of a heavy feeling to it as well.

  • Strawberries

To find the best strawberries; they should be plump, have a deep red colour, and be shiny. The cap should be securely attached. The berries should be medium sized since they will contain less water than larger berries. Avoid berries that are green or have a pale colour to them.

  • Blackberries

These will have a little bit of a dull look when they are ripe. The best time for blackberries is the midsummer. The berries should be plump and dark.

  • Blueberries

Blueberries are at their best from jestha to Ashoj. When purchasing these berries they should be blue in colour and should not even have a tint of red to them. These berries will not continue to ripen once they are picked so it is important to select carefully when purchasing them.

  • Plum

When looking for a ripe plum it should be heavy, but it should not be too soft. If the plum is very soft it is overripe. When squeezing the plum it should have a little bit of a give to it and not be mushy. The plum should also have a deep colour.

  • Cherries

Cherries will have a deep, almost black, colour when they are ripe. The cherry should be firm to the touch. It will also be juicy when bitten into. The stem should be firmly attached to the cherry but it should twist off without a problem.

  • Avocado

Avocados have become very popular over the past couple of years in Nepal. They are full of healthy fatty acids that are good for the body. When purchasing a ripe avocado there are some things to look for. The avocado should have a very deep colour, almost black. If it is green then it is not ready. The avocado should yield to some gentle pressure when squeezed. If it is too soft or too firm then it is not ready to eat.

These are some ways to tell if these fruits are ripe and ready to eat. These simple tests will help you, as a consumer or a chef to determine that you are getting the best tasting fruit.

Chef note: Remember citrus fruits are really rich in vitamin C. Most fruits are made of water. The fiber and vitamin present in Fruits are nutritionally beneficial to human body. 

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