7 Ways To Spot Ripe Fruit In Supermarkets

And it involves using only two or three of your senses

Planking In Supermarket

Summer is here and we’ve all heard how fabulous fruits are to keep us hydrated or energised or just healthy in general BUT picking up the right (read: ripe) ones tends to be the hardest bit.

You might have pictured yourself sinking your teeth into a juicy piece of fruit, but unfortunately that’s rarely the case. That’s where we come in with seven easy hacks to make sure you spend as little time in those supermarket aisles but walk out with the best produce ever. Thank us later!

1. Watermelon

This large football-like African fruit is best enjoyed when juicy, fresh and sweet. But how do you ensure it’s just that when you cut into it? Pretty simple! See that it’s either circular or oval in shape (uniformity is important). Next ensure it is dark green and dull in appearance (stay away from those shiny ones). And lastly, look out for symmetrical lines all along with a creamy yellow patch on one side. And if you don’t trust your vision, then knock it with your fists. The sound you should get is a high, non-basal one.

2. Pineapple

Ideally, slicing into this spiky fruit should reveal a sweet, slightly acidic and sticky centre. To make sure it is just that, here’s what you need to do. It’s all about sniffing the end of this tropical fruit to check how ripe it is. What you’re after is pretty simple – the sweet smell you experience when you put your mouth to a glass of pineapple juice. If you’re still unsure, lift the pineapple in your palm to check how heavy it is. If you’ve picked one that feels relatively heavy for its size…bravo! It’s a ripe one.

3. Honeydew melon

Some call it honeydew, while others call it honeymelon. How easy is it to choose a ripe piece of this fruit high in vitamin and fibre? We’ll tell you. The shades you’re looking at range from pale yellow to light lemon without much green. Plus, it is recommended to opt for one with consistent colour and a waxy-looking surface. And if colour isn’t your thing (ie: you classify yourself as colour blind), a quick sniff of the fruit helps too. Just make sure the smell you get is that of fragrant flowers.

4. Pomegranate 

Native to regions ranging from Iran to India, these little jewels are anti-oxidant rich. How do you make sure they’re ready for use in your juices, salads and smoothies? It’s all about the colour. Nothing spells a ripe pomegranate more than bright to dark red skin. Your other two clues include, leathery skin that's firm yet smooth to touch and the fruit should feel heavy for its size. 

5. Papaya

To enjoy the soft butter-like flesh of this Mexican fruit you’d have to make sure it’s ripe. What are the key things to look out for? Firstly, make sure the skin is bright yellow. A fruit that’s almost yellow or has specks of green very likely needs extra time to ripen. Also, it should feel heavy for its size and be firm. Having said that, remember that your fingers should sink slightly on pressing the fruit. 

6. Peach

Bet you didn’t know China is the world’s largest producer of this fruit. And the easiest way to know if it’s ready is to give it a little squeeze. Pressing the peach gently close to its stem indicates its ripeness. It should feel soft and slightly squishy. If you spot shrivelled skin (perhaps the only time you'd appreciate wrinkles) around the stem, give yourself a pat on the back for picking up an excellent peach. The more vibrant the fruit looks, the sweeter it is. 

7. Avocado

We all love avocados and swear by them. But the one thing that really does our head in is slicing it in half to find it underripe. To save you those woes, here’s what you should do. Try and find an avocado with skin that’s unblemished and not shiny. Colour might not be a great indicator. Depending on the variety of the avocados, you could be looking at anything between light green to purplish-black when they ripen. Our fave method though is to peel out the little stem. One that comes off easily and reveals a green shade underneath is just right to put in your shopping cart. If it’s brown or hard to pull off, we suggest you put that back on the shelf.

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And to make life easier, here's where to find these fruits...

Spinneys: This supermarket chain is your go-to place for products from UK, Australia and South Africa. Bear in mind though, the price tag of stuff bought here tends to be higher than what you'd generally pay at any other supermarket in the city. But if you're looking to snap a good deal then visit them on Market Day. Think bundle and discount offers on produce, every Monday.

Choithrams: Probably one of the oldest in the city, you can rely on Choithrams for high quality and fresh produce. (Psst...use its online portal to shop your fruits and veggies and have them delivered to your doorstep FOC, if your bill amounts to AED 100 or more).

West Zone: Not only will you find this hypermarket chain located at the most random corners of the city, but most branches operate 24 hours. Yes, you can actually avoid rush hour queues. (Word of advice: if you ever decide to attempt cooking a Filipino or Indian meal, chances are you will find all Asians ingredients here).

Lulu Hypermarket: Want to bag a bargain for weekly grocery shopping? Then this is your spot. With frequent 'special saver' offers running in many of its branches, you can pick up certain produce at a relatively lower rate with no compromise on quality. The best bit: you can place your order online and pick it up from the branch nearest to you or have it delivered to your home.

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