By in Food

Shopping for fresh fruit in the produce section of the grocery store requires some experience to find it ready to eat that very day.

I can easily pick up a melon and see if it is ripe enough but not always ripe enough to eat that very day.

When I go shopping for produce, be it a vegetable or a fruit, I sometimes find it difficult because I do not know if that melon or avocado is just right to eat that very same day.

Do you sometimes find a fruit or vegetable that may or may not be ready to eat but might in fact require a few days to fully ripen before having it with your meal? I have this problem. I am wondering if the produce managers in the local stores in the US do a good enough job placing produce out there for the consumer in a way that allow them to make the best choice for buying for that day.

I sometimes pick a watermelon, for example. Then I take it home, let it sit for a day then place it into the refrigerator until cold. When I take it out, cut a piece for myself and my wife to enjoy, that slice of watermelon sometimes tastes like it had been picked too early and is hardly sweet at all! Such a disappointment.

Even worse, some stores in my neighborhood display fruit that is over ripe, and to the point of actually being completely rotten! I don't know if this is a case of laziness on the part of the produce manager or something else, but I find that certain stores have a better amount of produce that is ripe enough to take home and eat that very day but if you are ever in doubt, do not hesitate to ask.

The reason for this post is because I feel that many of us take home fruits and vegetables, thinking they are ready to eat that day but sometimes are quite unhappy when we realize that tomato or melon needs to sit at room temperature and ripen for a few more days before it is just right for eating.

I know there just has to be a standard that the grocery stores follow but what exactly is that standard? Fresh is the word that comes to my mind. Fresh and ready to eat that day. If I am in doubt about this and can find no one to assist me at the grocery store from the produce area, I simply will not buy anything that is in question.

Here are a few helpful links for you to look at on this subject:

1. https://www.consumerreports.org/grocery-stores-supermarkets/grocery-stores-with-the-best-produce/

2. https://www.ams.usda.gov/grades-standards

3. https://www.gs1.org/industries/retail/fresh-foods/implementation-guidelines


Image Credit » Image by skeeze from Pixabay

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Comments

MegL wrote on May 27, 2019, 3:51 PM

It's the same here in the UK. Fruit is picked before it is ripe because otherwise it would be too ripe before it reaches the shops. Often is is labelled here as ready for the fruit bowl and the package tells you to let it sit a few days. I am not sure if there really is a way to tell whether or not fruit is ready to eat that day.

VinceSummers wrote on May 27, 2019, 8:47 PM

A lovely image of some truly ripe fruits and vegetables would have been a cool addition, Anthony... Be that as it may, in any Society driven by a monetary system, expect nothing to be done right. It is inevitable. We are fortunate we even get what we do... So I look to buy fruit that I expect will hold up nicely until it is ripe. And I deduce degree of ripeness through experience. To be sure, there are businesses that will sell you top quality products, but do not think there will be many who can afford the price.

Last Edited: May 27, 2019, 10:00 PM

lookatdesktop wrote on June 14, 2019, 12:55 AM

My wife can tell but I have some difficulty deciding which fruit or vegetable is ready to eat or just how long before I can enjoy it. I usually go looking for a produce manager but they don't always know themselves. I am getting older and the managers are looking younger every day.

lookatdesktop wrote on June 14, 2019, 12:59 AM

Yes, indeed. Those stores that are high end do keep their produce looking good and often have more ready to eat produce and more organic to choose from at a higher price than local markets for the average public consumer. I am an average consumer but I will sometimes search for ripe tomatoes and watermelon in the higher end stores if I have a few extra dollars to spend. I imagine the markets in some states especially those farmer's markets are better for getting fresh. I went into an Aldi market a year or so ago and found fruit that was actually so ripe it was almost liquid. Not very appealing.

lookatdesktop wrote on June 14, 2019, 1:03 AM

I just added a title picture for this post. I must have forgot to add it earlier. Good advice.

MegL wrote on June 14, 2019, 4:08 AM

For many fruits you can tell by a small squeeze. If the fruit is hard - it's not ripe. If it gives a little, it should be ripe. If it gives a lot - too ripe. For melons, press near the opposite end to the stalk. Pears are very difficult. they often rot from the inside, so it's hard to tell.

VinceSummers wrote on June 14, 2019, 2:29 PM

Nice photo.