CHOOSE FRUITS

Bit­ing into a piece of bland, taste­less fruit is so dis­ap­point­ing. Alvin Yap, coowner of Tangy Tan­ger­ines, tells NG POH HIAN how to pick out the juici­est, sweet­est ones.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Food How To - SH

FEEL IT Pick it up to see if it’s heavy for its size, a good in­di­ca­tion that the fruit is ma­ture and likely to be juicier and sweeter. This ap­plies to fruits like pome­los, watermelons, or­anges and pas­sion fruit.

CHECK THE STEM A green stem is a sign of fresh­ness. The greener the stem, the more freshly plucked the fruit is. Es­pe­cially for man­gos­teens, cher­ries and grapes, look for a green stem with firm, ripe fruit.

SMELL IT For fruits that don’t change colour much as they ripen, such as pineap­ples, rock mel­ons, man­goes and apri­cots, sniff the blos­som end. If it has a full, fruity aroma, grab it!

JUDGE ITS SKIN In the case of some fruits, the pret­tier they look, the fresher they are. Choose bright red and green ap­ples that are smooth and nat­u­rally shiny, with­out bruises or holes. Lemons and limes should not be shriv­elled. Avoid bruised apri­cots and peaches, as these sen­si­tive fruits rot eas­ily from bruises and cuts. BUT… Cer­tain fruits may be sweeter when they do not look pris­tine. Go for wrinkly pas­sion fruit, bright yel­low ba­nanas with brown spots (also called sugar spots), yel­low pome­los and Aus­tralian pears with yel­low-brown­ish skin. How­ever, such fruits are also very ripe and should be eaten within a day or two.

SQUEEZE IT Lightly squeeze the fruit with your palm – a fresh and ripe one will feel firm, but will yield gen­tly to the pres­sure. Never press it with your fin­gers, though. Press­ing frag­ile fruits like av­o­ca­dos, kiwi fruit, plums and nec­tarines will bruise them and cause them to rot.

TAP IT A juicy melon gives out a low-pitched hol­low sound when you tap it. A high-pitched sound in­di­cates that it’s un­ripe, and a dead thud means that it is over­ripe and would prob­a­bly taste bad. As for

1 Al­ways buy in sea­son. If a fruit is out of sea­son, there’s a higher chance of it lack­ing taste and flavour, no mat­ter how fresh it may be.

2 Some fruits don’t ripen af­ter be­ing put in the fridge – these in­clude apri­cots, av­o­ca­dos, man­goes, kiwi fruit, nec­tarines, pa­payas, peaches, pas­sion fruit and plums. Leave them out at room tem­per­a­ture un­til they’re ripe, then trans­fer to the chiller.

ap­ples, crunchy ones make a light, high-pitched sound when they are tapped, while mealy ap­ples give a denser sound.

LOOK OUT FOR MOIS­TURE Berries give off mois­ture when they’re over­ripe. Check the sticker at the bot­tom of each box – wa­ter spots mean that the berries are too ripe and are prob­a­bly rot­ting. Fresh berries should look bright and feel full and firm to the touch.

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