Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Time: Nothing But Ripe!

As I was walking through the market yesterday I came across a scene that made me chuckle. A woman, in search of the perfect melon, had picked up a watermelon from the mound available and began knocking upon the hardened shell. What was she listening for, I asked myself. Did she expect the melon to shout out to her “I’m RIPE!”? I realized that there are many different wives tales that we fall into believing concerning the ripeness of a summer melon. In order to provide a steadfast way to find a delicious fruit and save ourselves from embarrassment in the produce aisle, here are a few possibly unknown facts about picking fruits!

When choosing a watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew this summer save the effort of knocking; the only outcome will be a bruised, possibly unripe fruit. Instead, find the “bellybutton” or the end of the melon. Push gently and see if the end is soft. A ripe melon will not be squishy but will give slightly when pressed.

For a pineapple many of us may have been taught to tug on the leaves to see if they are loose enough to fall out. I believe that just proves that the leaves are weak! Instead pay attention to the coloring of your pineapple. If you purchase one in the store that is completely green, chances are you will have trouble ripening it once you get home. That usually means the fruit was picked prematurely. Instead, buy a fruit that has some orange or yellow coloring towards the bottom. At home, turn the pineapple upside down to allow the sugars that have fallen to the bottom of the fruit to travel throughout the entire fruit. You will know your pineapple is ripe when the golden coloring becomes even throughout.

Now that the truth about finding ripe fruit is out in the open, the rest of our summer should be sweet sailing!

Let me know how your picking season is going!