Whether you’re cruising farmer’s markets, roadside produce stands or checking out a ‘pick your own’ kind of place, summer is a great time for fresh fruit.
But do you know what to look for when you’re picking your produce? Here are some helpful tips.
The first thing to check for is firmness. You want to pick up the peach and squeeze it just a little. If it’s really hard, it still has a few days before it’s ready. But remember to use your palm instead of your fingers or the peach will bruise.
Another sign of ripeness is color. Check the color around the base of the fruit (where the stem was). If it’s a little green, give that peach a few more days before you snack on it.
When you’re looking for the perfect watermelon, one of the first things to check for is sound. There are a few ways to do this, from thumping the melon to slapping it. Whichever method you use, be careful not to hit the melon too hard or the heart will burst and that melon will go sour faster. What you’re listening for is a deep, hollow sound. That’s how you know it’s ripe.
You also want to check to see if the melon has a yellow belly. That means it stayed out in the field for a while before it was clipped. If the belly isn’t really yellow, it may have gotten clipped too early and chances are, it won’t be sweet.
For cantaloupes, you’re looking for color and smell. Yellow coloring around the stem and a sweet smell are good indicators that your melon is ready to go!
If you have the opportunity, picking your own strawberries is the best way to make sure you’re getting the cream of the crop, as our friends at South Georgia Weekend tell us.
The main thing to look for is color. Strawberries only ripen on the plant, so the brightest red berries will be the ripest and the sweetest!