July and August are the peak season for the wonderful variety of fresh peaches, nectarines, plums, and cherries. Choose fruits that are firm to the touch, but whose flesh will yield with gentle pressure. The fruits should be unblemished and free of bruises, with a warm, fragrant aroma.
Most fruits will have a natural blush to the skin, but this is usually just a variety trait and not necessarily an indication of quality. A good indicator of maturity is a well-defined shape of the fruit. Avoid those with any hint of green as they will never fully ripen. Although most fruits will continue to ripen after being picked from the tree, the sugar production ceases once picked and will not increase even though the fruit may soften.
Under-ripe fruits can be ripened somewhat by placing them in a paper bag punched with holes at room temperature in a spot away from sunlight. Check often for ripeness as they can go from under-ripe to overripe in a matter of twenty-four hours. An apple or banana, both of which exude natural ethylene gas, added to the bag will hasten ripening.
Source: Florida State Agriculture Department
By Julia from Boca Raton, FL
How can I ripen store-bought pears in one day? I am having a dinner party tonight and need them for a recipe. The pears I bought have not yet ripened.
By Karin from San Diego, CA
Put them in a paper bag with bananas. I always put mine with bananas in the fruit bowl and it works great! I'm not sure about having them ready by evening though!:)
If I ripen my pears in a brown bag with a ripe banana, will the pears take on the taste of the banana, as your lunch will if you carry the banana in the same container?
By Allison K.
No, it won't, as long as you don't shake or squish the bag, as might happen with your lunch. Also, since you should be washing the pear right before eating it anyway, any remaining smell from the banana should be gone before you sink your teeth in. You probably don't wash your lunch before eating it, unless you're a racoon. :-)