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Ripening Fresh Fruits You've Purchased

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.

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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.

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Source: Florida State Agriculture Department

By Julia from Boca Raton, FL

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September 5, 20110 found this helpful

I'd heard that a banana could help the ripening process speed up, but
didn't know that an apple produces the same gas which also helps.
I always have apples around, so will definitely use this helpful tip.

Thank you for sharing it.

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September 5, 20110 found this helpful

Julia, thank you so much for sharing info many of us never learned at our own mothers' elbows.

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September 5, 20110 found this helpful

Yes this is a great tip. One I use, and my uncle taught me when I was just 4 to put tomatoes in a draw to get them to ripen, I'm not sure if it's something to do with the dark.

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September 5, 20110 found this helpful

Great tip Julia and one I've used for years too. Interesting tip that Ruth

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added about ripening tomatoes in a drawer. I'd never heard that. This
group is just full of wonderful information and ideas for making our lives
and homes run smoother. Thanks to all.
You'll be getting my vote! :-)

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September 7, 20110 found this helpful

I seem to always end up purchasing less than ripe plums, peaches and
nectarines, and have never had good luck ripening them successfully, so
I'll be using this tip starting this very week. I've tried the brown bag thing
and sometimes, it seems to work, but other times, I still end up with fruit
that has no flavor at all. This is surely worth a try.

Thank you for sharing the information, Pookarina.
ww

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September 7, 20110 found this helpful

Yes, tomatoes, even all the way green ones, will ripen in a paper bag. Do not place on a windowsill as it will overheat them and make them rot before even ripening.

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I've been using the paper bag technique for several years ever since a produce manager at my grocery store told me about it. Works great on kiwi's too :)

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September 7, 20110 found this helpful

So often, fruit goes from half ripe to rotten, skipping the ripe part. I hate wasting it, so I will definitely try this. Thank you once again, Julia!

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September 10, 20110 found this helpful

I remember my mom used to have tricks like this. I sure wish I'd paid
more attention. Thank for the excellent tip.
Lee

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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