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Most fruits we buy today in markets all across the country are picked while they are still on the very firm and slightly "green" side which allows them to be shipped without too much damage. If they were picked fully ripened, they would end up in the stores much too ripe and we'd lose a lot.
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
When I want to bake with bananas, I go to the produce department of the supermarket and ask the produce guy if he has any over rip bananas? He usually goes out back and comes back with a package of 6 bananas all wrapped and priced for around. 75 cents. Now that's a bargain. But I told my church that I was bringing banana muffins for church on Sunday. I went to the store couldn't find ripe bananas so he told me this hint, I had heard from mom years back.
If you buy fresh bananas, and wand then to ripen fast, all you have to do is put them in the freezer for at least two hours. They turn immediately black and sweeter and even get bruised! It's like magic
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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.
I did an experiment by putting a pear with 1 apple and a pear with 2 apples. I know that fruits produce ethylene when they ripen, but why did the pear with just 1 apple ripen faster than the pear with 2 apples?
Often pears that you buy at the market are not fully ripe. Similarly, you may have fruit trees in the garden that are dropping green fruit. This is a page about ripening pears.