It was easy for me to visually inspect fruits and vegetables for things that were wrong with them but I would still come home with a desert-dry orange and wonder what the heck did I do wrong?
When it comes to citrus, you want the heaviest lime or lemon or orange… I have a hard time noticing physical sensation so what I do is I put the fruit in my non-dominant hand, in my case that is the left hand. It is much easier to notice because it is more sensitive, probably because it is weaker. Since I started doing this I have avoided wasting money on super-dry and disappointing purchases so I just had to share. I have found this trip also works for melons! A melon is almost all water, if it is light it is going to be dry.
I heard a neat tip for picking out pineapples from Rachael Ray. She said that you look for ones whose “eyes” are all the same size from top to bottom, she learned this at a pineapple farm so they would know! I probably look totally bizarre because I usually sniff the end of the pineapple to make sure that if there is a scent it is more of a sweet than a moldy smell. I also try and gently pull out the leaves, if none come out then it is not ripe enough. Considering pineapples are usually $5 here, I will do anything not to waste my money on a dry and sour pineapple.
Avacados were the hardest for me until I went to a gourmet food store and realized the problem, my store NEVER has good avacados. I can’t tell you how much money I have wasted on my local store’s rotten avocados. Now if I buy an avocado I go to Pete’s Frootique. The last time I bought one there I could not believe the difference, they were all so perfect. Very firm, the skin was tight, they were dark but still had a green hue to them. When I bought an avocado ($1.69!) at the grocery store the cashier literally just threw it in my grocery bag. I almost had a heart attack. No wonder they are all beat and bruised to hell when people who work there either do not understand or do not care about the food.
I hope this has helped you in some way and if you have some tips of your own please feel free to share!
I appreciate the tips. I can’t always get to Pete’s. And Pete’s employees never throw the produce in the bags.
I believe mango is the hardest for me to pick.
I knew about the leaf trick on the pineapples. But a lot of time it cheaper here to buy a pineapple buy the piece. A 3 or 4 dollar a one whole pineapple is cheaper. When one is sold by the pound it can be spendy ending up be more then 4 bucks.
Coffee is on.
What a good idea – using your non-dom hand for weighing fruit!! Like you, I try to be careful & pick things that are ripe & tasty! My dad used to spin a broomstraw on a watermelon – always fun to watch!! We were lucky to have ones grown ~ 60 miles away (they wouldn’t ripen where I grew up) & now I can grow little ones – nothing like home or locally grown, when you can get it!
Neat tricks! I’ll definitely be using them when I help pick out the produce. Dry oranages and watermelons are the worst.
lindsey.hefner at gmail.com says
Great tips! I spent $1.49 a piece on blood oranges for a recipe just to have them be bone dry when I cut them. 🙁
What great tips – and a revelation about the avocados!
I always smell the bottom of a pineapple too! And this may be weird but with citrus, I often look for very fine pores – figuring less moisture escapes. I’d be curious whether anyone else has success with that too.
Love the tips on picking fresh produce. Fruits are my favourite food group by far and they are almost the only thing I don’t mind shopping for at the grocery store!
Did you know that the tip for heavy citrus also applies to apples? You want one that is relatively heavy for it’s overall size to ensure you get a nice and juicy apple!
Lots of great tips ! Thanks:)
One tip I use for canteloupe to get one that’s ripe is to try to gently press in the stem end – if it doesn’t budge, it’s likely too green. That tip was given to me years ago by someone at a grocery store when they saw me trying to pick a melon by knocking on it (which is a no-no!). I didn’t know the difference, and it works!