When to Eat Fruit

When you purchase fruit from the grocery store it may not always be ready to eat. Some growers pick fruits before they are ripe for better shipping as ripe fruit bruises easily. Below is a list of common fruits along with instructions on how to store them for maximum flavor.

Eat Right Away

Berries, Cherries, Watermelon, Citrus, Pineapples, Grapes

These fruits are typically picked and sold fully ripe. In general, they should smell sweet so skip any that don’t since they won’t ripen at home. Refrigerated and eat ASAP.

Wait: These Will Continue to Ripe but Not Sweeten

Nectarines, Peaches, Plums, Cantaloupes, Figs, Avocados, Tomatoes

Ripen at room temperature until fragrant. Place in a paper bag to hasten the process. Refrigerate only if on the verge of spoiling (except for tomatoes).

Wait: These Will Ripen & Sweeten

Bananas, Pears, Papayas, Mangoes, Kiwis

Ripen and store at room temperature. The paper-bag trick works too. Refrigerate only if very soft and about to spoil.


“Fruit & Flavor: Mystery Solved!” Real Simple. July 2014. 184.


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