When searching through the produce section, you know that you want fruit that is ripe. But, what exactly does it mean for fruit to be ripe? The ripening process of fruit is basically the conversion of starch to sugar. When fruit is early in the ripening process, it is very starchy, which causes it to be hard and odorless. As fruit ripens, more sugar develops, which causes it to soften, change color, and put off a sweet aroma.
The ripeness of a fruit can be judged based on:
Fruit can be broken down into two basic categories: climacteric fruit and non-climacteric fruit.
Climacteric fruit continues to ripen after being harvested.
Before the ripening process begins, bananas are green. As they ripen, they turn yellow and develop brown spots. These brown spots appear as more starch is turned into sugar. The more brown spots a banana has, the softer the texture will be and the sweeter the taste.
Whether a granny smith or a red apple, the softer an apple, the riper it is. When ripe, apples should be bright in color, with a unified consistency.
Non-climacteric fruit ceases to ripen after it has been harvested.
A ripe orange should be firm with a thin, smooth skin and no soft spots. The riper the orange, the heavier the orange should feel for its size.
When buying grapes, you want to make sure that they are not mushy in texture. If grapes easily fall from their stems, they are not as fresh as they should be.
As a non-climacteric fruit, strawberries do not become sweeter after being picked. This is why it is important to select strawberries that have a sweet aroma. A ripe strawberry will be bright red and free of dark spots.
Visit Your Local Market Basket for the Freshest Fruits and Vegetables
Market Basket understands produce, inside and out. Our produce is farm fresh every single day, and our Produce Managers are very knowledgeable. Our Associates are ready to answer any questions you may have about selecting the ripest produce for your family. Stop by your local Market Basket’s produce section to see our large, high quality selection.