Selecting the perfect fruits is an art that goes beyond just picking them off the shelf. Knowing how to choose the best grapes, apples, pineapples, and berries ensures you're getting the most out of your money and are including quality produce on your grazing boards. Here are my tried-and-true tips for picking out the best fruit on the shelf:
How to Pick Out High-Quality Fruit
PICK THE RIGHT Grapes:
Grapes come in various colors, sizes, and varieties, and choosing the best ones involves a combination of visual and tactile assessments:
Look for plumpness: Opt for grapes that are plump, well-rounded, and free from wrinkles. This indicates ripeness and juiciness.
Check the color: The color of grapes varies depending on the variety, but they should be vibrant and consistent. For red and black grapes, look for a deep, rich hue.
Check the stems: Some people think that brown stems mean old grapes, but its an indicator that the grapes ripened on the vine and are sweet!
PICKING THE RIGHT Apples:
Apples are a staple in many households, and selecting the best ones involves considering factors like texture, fragrance, and appearance:
Assess the skin: Look for apples with smooth, blemish-free skin. Dull spots or wrinkles may indicate age or damage.
Feel the firmness: A good apple should feel firm and heavy for its size. Avoid soft or spongy areas, as they could be signs of decay.
Smell the fragrance: A fresh, sweet fragrance at the stem end suggests ripeness. Choose apples with a pleasant aroma for the best flavor.
FINDING A RIPE Pineapple:
Pineapples may seem intimidating with their tough exterior, but selecting a ripe and sweet one is easier than you think:
Check the color: Look for a pineapple with a golden-yellow exterior. The base should have a slight give when pressed.
Smell the aroma: A ripe pineapple will have a sweet, tropical fragrance at the base. If it smells fermented or sour, it may be overripe.
Pull a leaf: Gently tug on one of the pineapple's inner leaves. If it comes out easily, the fruit is ripe. If not, it needs more time.
PICKING OUT QUALITY Berries:
Berries are delicate and prone to spoilage, so paying attention to their appearance and texture is crucial:
Look for vibrancy: Choose berries with a vibrant and consistent color. Dull or discolored berries may be past their prime.
Check for plumpness: Opt for berries that are plump and juicy. Avoid shriveled or mushy ones, as they may be overripe.
Inspect the container: Examine the container for any signs of mold or excess moisture. Fresh berries should be dry and free from any visible defects.
By following these tips for selecting the best grapes, apples, pineapples, and berries, you'll bring home fruits that are not only visually appealing but also bursting with flavor and nutritional goodness. Remember that the best fruits are often a result of a careful blend of observation, touch, and smell. So, the next time you're at the grocery store or farmers' market, use these guidelines to pick out the freshest and most delicious fruits for your table.
Karen Ormsby is the founder and owner of Oakford Gourmet Selections. Karen is an Australian native who brings her diverse and educated palate to creating beautiful, artistic, and delicious charcuterie boards and grazing platters. Located outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, Oakford Gourmet Selections provides charcuterie and grazing catering perfect for any sized events including girl's nights, weddings, receptions, engagements, parties, networking events, and more.