How to Properly Determine the Ripeness of Fruit

Ripe fruit is defined as being fully developed or mature, and ready for eating. If you grown your own fruit, you can check its development and maturity daily.

How to check the fruit's ripeness

  • Hold the fruit in the palm of your hand and apply gentle pressure with your thumb and fingers. The fruit should be firm to the touch. If your finger leave an impression in the fruit that doesn't bounce back, the fruit is overripe. If it's hard as a rock, it's underripe. Neither should be canned. If you're picking your fruit for canning, you can perform the same test, with a slight difference. Do it while the fruit's still attached to the tree.

  • Smell the fruit. Ripe fruit has a rich, full fruit aroma. A peach should smell like a peach; an apple should smell like an apple. The fragrance should be strong enough to entice you to eat the fruit on the spot.

When picking your own fruit, always pick it directly from the bush or tree. Fruit collected from the ground (sometimes called dropped fruit or ground fruit) is an indication that the fruit is overripe. Don't use it for canning.

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