Some of the freshest fruit are available in the summer months. Great for eating alone or baking, perfectly ripe in-season fruit are a delectable treat. In addition to your own garden, you'll find that farmers’ markets, small farm stands, and pick-your-own farms are great places to obtain fresh fruit.
To make the best selections, The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2013 Engagement Calendar provides the following guidelines:
Fruit: How to Know What’s Ripe
• Look for: Orange-yellow color, hint of softness
• Avoid: Blemishes, greenish tinge or pale color, mushy spots
• Look for: Fragrant aroma, heavy for size, blossom end slightly springy when pressed, hollow sound when thumped, yellow or cream color under skin’s netting.
• Avoid: Dull or high-pitched sound when thumped, green color under skin’s netting, soft spots
• Look for: Fragrant aroma; firm body; large, plump fruit; glossy, dark color for the variety; green, flexible stems
• Avoid: Blemishes, dull color, dry stems, shriveled or spongy fruit, small size
• Look for: Plump, firm fruit; tight attachments to stems; green tinged with yellow, if green variety; dark red, no green if red variety; almost black, no green, if purple variety.
• Avoid: Mushy or shriveled fruit, “off” or pale color, shriveled stems
• Look for: Heavy for size, bright yellow color
• Avoid: Dull or greenish color, wrinkles, soft spots
• Look for: Fragrant aroma, body that yields easily when gently squeezed, golden color
• Avoid: Greenish tinge, hard or mushy fruit, wrinkles
• Look for: Fragrant aroma, stem area that yields slightly to pressure, consistent color. Most varieties do not change color when ripe; ‘Bartlett’ turns yellow
• Avoid: Softness around the middle
• Look for: Heavy for size, pleasing aroma near stem, plump fruit, bright shell color, shell that yields slightly when pressed, healthy leaves. Pineapples do not ripen after they are harvested.
• Avoid: Dried leaf tips, dull color, mushy shell, strong or sour odor
• Look for: Fragrant aroma; plump, fairly firm fruit; bright, uniform color; no juice or stains on container
• Avoid: Crushed or mushy fruit, hulls attached, mold
• Look for: Symmetrical body shape, heavy for size, buttery yellow underbelly, neither too dull nor shiny skin
• Avoid: Soft spots
Want more? The 2014 Old Farmer’s Almanac Engagement Calendar is now available!