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Volume II
August 31, 2004

Choosing Fabulous Fruits

Look For:
Avoid Fruit that Is:
Firm, well-colored, feels crisp; scald (tan spots) is okay, hardly affects the taste.
Shriveled, bruised, yields slightly to pressure, or lacks color.
Plump, juicy-looking, golden-orange and uniform in color, yields slightly to pressure.
Underripe: pale, greenish-yellow, very firm; Overripe: soft, mushy, dull-looking.
Slightly soft when pressed if want to use at once; firm if want to use in 3-5 days.
Cracked, broken, or patched with sunken spots.
Firm, without bruises or other injury; tasty when peel is specked with brown.
Bruised, discolored, or grayish (exposed to cold and won't ripen properly).
Plump, firm, deep blue berries with their natural waxy silver coating; dry, uniform.
Mushy, soft, or leaky berries or ones with leaves or stems still attached.
1) Stem removed leaving smooth shallow base.
2) Thick, coarse, corky netting that stands out from skin.
3) Yellow cast to rind.
4) Nice scent of cantaloupe.
5) Yields slightly when pressed on non-stem end.
Distinctly yellow and soft over entire rind, watery, largely bruised (small, occasional bruises usually won't affect melon), or moldy.
Very dark in color (deep maroon to black) glossy, plump, with fresh looking stems.
Shriveled with dry stems and dull sheen; decayed (brown spots, mold, leaky, soft).
Plump, firm, lustrous red colored berries.
Brown, dark, leaky, spongy berries.
Firm, heavy for its size; smooth, thinner skin = more juice; thick skin (pointed end) = less juice.
Soft, waterlogged, with a peel that breaks easily when pressed with finger; rough, rigid, wrinkled skin.
Green, pliable stems, firmly attached fruit. Green grapes: yellow or amber hue. Red grapes: most or all berries should be red.
Soft, wrinkled, leaky grapes with brown, dry stems; grapes with bleached stem ends.
Honeydew Melon
Creamy (yellow-white) soft, velvety in texture; slightly soft on blossom end, faint fruit aroma.
White, greenish ; hard, smooth in texture; largely bruised, sunken, or punctured rind.
Plump, unwrinkled; firm. Ripe when slightly yields when pressed (not soft).
Wrinkled, moldy, or excessively soft
Thin-skinned, light yellow blushed with pink; yields slightly when pressed; strong, sweet aroma.
Hard, all green fruit.
Firm, heavy for its size; smooth-textured, rich yellow skin that is slightly glossy. Pale or greenish yellow = very fresh fruit = high acid.
Dark yellow or dull; shriveled, moldy, soft, or punctured. Coarse skinned fruits = less pulp.
Plump, heavy for its size, with a glossy rind
Dull, dry rind; moldy, has soft spots, or is punctured.
Plump, smooth, dark green skin with patches of red, yellow, or orange color; slightly soft; peachy-pine aroma from stem area = ripe.
Hard, shriveled, mushy with bruises, rot, or black spots, or fruit that is all green.
Plump, slightly soft along "seam"; either orange-yellow or greenish between red-blushed areas depending on variety. Hard, tan stains are fine.
Hard, dull, shriveled; soft, punctured, or cracked skin.
Firm, heavy for its size; smooth-textured, bright-looking skin. Green color or spots or brown specks have no affect on taste or quality.
Dull, lightweight, rough or thick-skinned; punctured, dry or spongy feel, has soft spots; discolored weak skin at ends of orange.
Unblemished. To eat at once: yellow, slightly soft to the touch. To ripen at home: firm, green with some yellow patches.
All green, mushy, bruised or rough-textured.
Somewhat firm, becoming slightly soft; red with creamy, orangy base color.
Very hard or firm, red with green base color; very soft, mushy, with flat bruises or pale to dark tan spots.
Firm, just barely beginning to soften. Bartletts: pale to rich yellow; Anjous/Comices: light to yellow green; Boscs: green to brown yellow.
Dull, shriveled, or wilted; slight withering near the stem; spotted or bruised flesh.
Plump, heavy for its size; bright orange, yellow, or golden brown; eyes slightly separated; pleasant pineapple fragrance.
Dull yellowish-green, with sunken or pointed eyes; dry looking, bruised, moldy, soft spots, unpleasant odor.
Plump, somewhat firm to slightly soft; healthy color.
Hard, poorly colored, punctured, brown discoloration; too soft, mushy, leaky.
Raspberries (and other similar berries)
Plump, tender individual cells on berries; bright, uniform color, clean, no attached stem caps.
Mushy individual cells on berries; moldy, leaky; stained or wet containers.
Bright red color; fresh green caps; dry, clean. Small to medium size taste = more flavor than large.
Moldy, large seedy or uncolored areas, shrunken in appearance. Check bottom berries in package.
Bright, lustrous deep yellow or orange. Because of loose skins, fruit won't feel firm to the touch.
Pale yellow or greenish fruit; punctured skin or very soft spots.
Smooth, well ripened, free from blemishes. Ripe: slightly soft, overall rich red color. Less than fully ripe: firm, pink to light red color.
Bruised, soft, sunburnt (green or yellow near stem), deep brown cracks, decayed, moldy, water spots.
1) Firm, symmetrical, free from bruises, punctures, dents;
2) bright green rind;
3) heavy for its size;
4) creamy-yellow underside (indicates sun-ripened on ground). Cut: Firm, dense flesh; dark seeds.
Uncut: pale rind, punctures, bruises.
Cut: pale-colored flesh, whitish streaks or seeds; dry, mealy flesh; stringy, watery flesh.

* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *

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