Ask Sid: What fruits continue to ripen after picking?

July 15th, 2015
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What fruits continue to ripen after picking?

Question: In an argument with my spouse about whether watermelon and cantaloupe improve after picking. Are melons continuing to ripen? What about other fruits?

Answer: Debatable subject. Based on my personal experiences I trust only avocado and banana to continue ripening after picking. I have seen lots of lists out there but believe the best flavours are achieved when the fruit is fully ripe when picked. Certainly mostly unanimous are watermelon, orange, grapefruit, apple, pineapple, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, cherry, and grape among a group that don’t continue to ripen. Some fruits seem to improve like kiwi, peach, pear, apricot, nectarine, plum among others but remember they usually are shipped very cold and probably need a few days to warm up and revive themselves. More controversial are melons particularly cantaloupe. I am not a scientist but I don’t think the fruit can get any sweeter once it is picked but it does continue to soften up and therefore seems juicier to you. Your thoughts please.

A few random tips:

– Check the aromatics of the fruit before you buy it.

– Careful when storing fruit and vegetables. Example: Never store onions and potatoes together!

– Hasten ripening by the brown bag trick – particularly add an apple or banana in the bag.

– Store fruit and vegetable unwashed and only wash it just before use.


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July 15th, 2015

One Response

  1. I regularly experience continued ripening after pick with cantaloupe, figs (I have had fig trees in my yard for 70 years), sweet cherries, and tomatoes (Yes, tomato is a fruit), and sometime with plums.

    Wimberly Miree

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