Knowing when an avocado is ripe and ready to be used for guacamole often feels like a guessing game. You’ve either opened it up way too early leaving you with solid, hard-to-mash guac, or left it a tad too late revealing it more brown than green avocado. Now you’re wondering how you could’ve avoided all this when you were at the supermarket. Feeling around every avocado; sniffing, scratching, slapping, hoping that the ‘Ripe-Sixth-Sense’ would kick in.

We’re here to solve all that. Once you can look out for the clues when choosing fruit and veggies, your produce will be perfect for use every time.

 

So here are three simple things to look out for when selecting the best fruit and veggies:

1. The Appearance

When looking at tree fruits, there should be an even colouration and no bruises. These bruises won’t be hard to miss – being all soft, big, brown and splotchy. Often, sugar spots (small and brown) can be mistaken for bruises – but they’re harmless, and only indicate that they’re sweeter to eat! Just make sure these sugar spots aren’t soft.

If there’s a stripe across the stem area, the fruit will taste better as it has been left to ripen longer on the tree leaving a mark from the branch.

Yellow areas on watermelons indicate where the melon rested.

For melons, it’s slight harder to spot any visual cues. But take note of bruises and dents. Scarring is actually okay on melons as it’s likely to indicate where the melon rested on the ground. Make sure this scarred area isn’t thinner or more tender than the rest of the rind.

Determining ripeness by the colour of an avocadoSource: avocadocentral.com

The colour of an avocado won’t always indicate if it’s ready. But it should be somewhat a dark brown (but not too dark). Click the image above to view more about the ripening stages.

Crunchy looking leaves will taste best

Moving onto vegetables, look out for consistent colour, crisp, and plump leaves. Some browness and tears should be expected with normal shipping and handling. With root veggies, any cracks at the base will indicate dryness.

2. The Feel and Smell

Fruit should be firm but not rock hard. Now, before you go around squeezing every piece of fruit, you only need to give a slight press to see if there is a little give. For those lovely avocados, a firm press near the stem should yield a slight give, making it ideal for perfect slices.

Citrus fruits which feel hard most likely indicate that they’re dry on the inside, so avoid these!

Heavy melons mean juicy melons. Knock on them to check for ripeness. If it sounds like you’re knocking on your forehead, then it’s not ripe. If it sounds like you’re knocking on your stomach, then it’s too ripe. The perfect sound is as if you’re knocking on your chest.

Veggies should always be firm.

Ripe citrus fruits will give off a light aroma

Another way to test out the produce is to give a good sniff. Strong aromas from fruits mean it’s too ripe. While a sour smell…obviously means it’s no longer good. Keep your nose out for light sweet smells.

3. Time of the Year

While you can wait for the right season, generally most fruits are available all year round. Supermarkets tend to stock under-ripe avocados, so it’s better to stock them in the fridge and wait 2-3 days before they soften enough for smashed avo on toast. For the love of avocados, check out this detailed guide to master your timing.

But avocados aren’t the only things that are stocked under-ripe. There are a number of fruits that will continue to ripen after they have been picked at the farm. These fall into two categories; climacteric (will continue to ripen) and nonclimacteric (will not continue to ripen).

Below is a list of fruits from each category:

Climacteric:

  • Bananas
  • Apricots
  • Kiwis
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Mangos
  • Apples
  • Avocados

Nonclimacteric:

  • Peppers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Pomegranates
  • Watermelons
  • Berries
  • Grapes

 

Here at Feastively, we pick our produce when it’s just about ready to be eaten so you can have perfect produce in our meals.

Check out our meals here.