Your Cooking Companion

Posted in Food
April 26, 2019

Will My Fruit Ripen On My Counter?

I often find myself scanning bins of unripe fruits, wondering whether it makes sense to buy it anyway and give it time to ripen on my counter.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a general rule about fruit getting better after it’s been picked. Some fruits will definitely do that, others will remain unchanged, still others might look better but not taste better. I don’t think there’s a quick and easy trick for remembering which is which, so you might want to bookmark this post for referral when you’re standing in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Fruits That Get Sweeter After Picking:

Apples
Bananas
Kiwis
Mangoes
Papayas
Pears

Fruits That Get Prettier and Juicier—BUT NOT SWEETER—After Picking:

Apricots
Blueberries
Figs
Melon (except Watermelon—see below)
Nectarines
Passion fruit
Peaches
Persimmons
Plums
Tomatoes (If they’re green, they WILL taste better after sitting on the counter to ripen. DON’T REFRIGERATE, because just like “first frost”, that will shut the ripening chemicals down.)

Fruits That NEVER Ripen After Picking:

Berries (except blueberries–see above)
Cherries
Citrus (Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons, Limes)
Grapes
Pineapple
Watermelon

And of course, the exceptions:

Avocados are programmed to ripen AFTER they are picked. So those hard ones will be okay, in time.
Pears also get better after picking, and they ripen best IN THE FRIDGE. (Weird, right?)

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