One way to save money at the grocery store is to ensure that produce is bought at the optimal time in relation to when you want to use it. Not only is it important to know how to determine ripeness for different types of produce but it is also necessary to know which types of produce will continue to ripen once picked.
Below is a summary including advice on evaluating 20 different types of produce, so you can learn how to pick the perfect produce.
1) Cantaloupe should feel heavier than it looks when it is ripe. The smell will be sweet and musky but not overly sweet. If it smells too sweet, it is probably over ripe. Lastly take a look at the stem to be sure that there is no lip present. If you do purchase a cantaloupe that is not ripe, you can leave it on the counter to ripen over time.
2) Pineapple will be firm to the touch when ripe and will smell sweet. If the pineapple smells like vinegar it is over ripe and if it smells like nothing, it needs to ripen more. The entire pineapple will be a golden brown color without any lingering green color at the base. Lastly if you try to pluck a leaf from the top and it comes out easily, the pineapple is ripe.
3) Strawberries should be completely red. If the green color is present at the top/stem, it means that the strawberry is not fully ripe. Ripe strawberries will smell distinctly sweet. Always look at the bottom of the container for any signs of mold or fermentation.
4) Mangos have different varieties so you should be familiar with the kind you want in order to determine if it is ripe. A ripe mango will always smell sweet especially near the stem where the smell will be the strongest. A mango will be soft when it is ripe and it will feel heavier. Mango will continue to ripen after being picked but do not refrigerate if the mango needs to ripen further.