How to tell if what you’re buying is ripe and ready
Fresh Produce
How to tell if what you’re buying is ripe and ready
Published 24 September

Trying to select the best fresh fruit and vegetables can be tricky when you’re not sure of what visual cues you need to look for. If you frequently ask yourself questions such as:
“How will I know if this whole pumpkin is any good on the inside?”, or “how can I make this coriander last more than a day?”, then this article is for you. The good folks at DeMaria’s fruit and veg field similar questions every day. Here, manager Leo DeMaria shares his wisdom on some of the trickier fruits and vegetables to buy.


Tips on choosing ripe produce



When you’re choosing whole pumpkin such as the speckled green Japanese variety (also known as Kent), look for one with skin that’s changing from green to a lighter orange colour. Avoid any that are too deep green: that means they’re still unripe in the middle. A good pumpkin should be firm and weighty. Make sure there’s no bruising on the skin or signs of rotting.


No one likes a dry mandarin. To avoid this when choosing Imperial Mandarins, go for those that are not too firm, but not too soft – putty-like is what you want. You should be able to almost feel the gap between the skin and the fruit; that means that it’s just ripe. A fruit that is hard to the touch could signify that it’s too dry inside.


Buying a whole watermelon is a breeze once you know what to look out for. First of all, the watermelon should feel heavy for its size. Secondly, look out for a creamy yellow splotch on the skin – that means it’s ripe. If the splotch is white, it’s probably not ripe yet. Thirdly, if it has weird scars with little brown dots, that’s good! These dots are little beads of sugar that have oozed out, meaning you’ve got a sweet one on your hands.


The key to finding a ripe pineapple is sniffing and squeezing. Smell the bottom of the fruit – if there’s a distinct pineapple smell exuding from the fruit, you’ve got a winner. The skin should also have a bit of give when you squeeze it. Keep in mind that pineapples won’t become any sweeter once they’re picked, but they will get softer and juicier if you leave them on the kitchen bench for a while.

How to make herbs go the distance


Basil does best outside of the fridge and out of direct sunlight. When you take it home, trim the bottom of the stems and put it in a glass with a tiny bit of water and cover it with a plastic bag. You could also wrap a damp paper towel around it and it should last.

Coriander and parsley

Again, trim the bottom of the stems. Stand upright in a glass or jar with a bit of water covering the ends. Cover the tops with a plastic bag and seal with a rubber band around the middle of the jar before placing it in the fridge.

You can find the freshest fruit and vegetables from DeMarias Fruit & Veg store.