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How to tell when your plums are at their best!

We all do it, squeeze plums and sniff melons to check for ripeness, but do we actually know what we’re looking for? Most of us will have learnt from our mothers who learnt them from theirs, the difference being they most probably knew what they were looking for!

To help you enjoy the freshest and most delicious fruit and veg, Eat in Colour present some helpful hints and tips to make sure you’re not left bruised after a
shopping trip…

Blueberries – With blueberries, size is not an indicator of quality or maturity. Look for berries that are blue or dark blue in colour. Avoid containers with mouldy or shrivelled blueberries. Most blueberry varieties will have a silver-white frost on the top. This is called bloom. A lack of bloom can sometimes indicate that the berries have been handled too much or are not as fresh.

Apples – To select apples, look for firm, well-coloured apples. Apples do not ripen after being taken off the tree, so colour is a good indication of ripeness. Remember that apple varieties come in many colours, so you need to know what the variety you’re choosing should look like to make a good colour determination. Avoid overripe apples, which can be detected when an apple yields slightly when squeezed.

Bananas – Look for bananas that are firm and have a bright colour. If you want bananas to eat in a few days, buy fruit that is green. Bananas with green at the tips will be ready to eat in a day while bananas with a yellow and brown skin have reached their peak flavour potential.

Oranges – The best oranges to purchase should feel heavy with fresh, bright-looking skin. You should avoid light-weight oranges, which probably lack much of their flesh content and juices. A spongy texture usually indicates aging and poorer eating quality. Also avoid fruit that shows any decay, soft spots or weakened area around the stem end.

Cucumbers – Look for firm cucumbers with a deep green colour. Avoid cucumbers that are not firm over their entire length or those with shrivelled ends.

Lettuce – If buying bagged salad, choose lettuce that has been stored in a cooler at the supermarket. For ‘loose’ lettuce, avoid heads with wilted leaves.

Mushrooms – Choose mushrooms that are smooth in appearance and have a
dry top.

Onions – Bulb onions should have a round shape and be firm to the touch. Their skin should be dry and easily peeled.

Peppers – Good quality bell peppers should be firm, fresh looking and brightly coloured. Avoid peppers that appear shrivelled, dull-looking or pitted. They are generally sold by colour, and all are green before they ripen.

Potatoes - Choose potatoes that are firm and blemish-free. Avoid potatoes with soft spots or that have a green cast to the skin.

Tomatoes – Choose tomatoes that give slightly to firm pressure and have a rich red colour. Avoid tomatoes that are too soft or have apparent bruising.

Garlic – Select garlic heads that are firm and have no soft cloves. Stay away from heads that feel mushy or have dark spots.


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