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How to Pick and Store Fruits

Following is a guide for picking and storing fruits.

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Fruits require specific means of storage in order to retain their freshness. Some need to be stored at room temperature while others need to be refrigerated. Refrigeration tends to slow the ripening process and is often recommended. Not to mention, many fruits should not be washed until just before use as moisture promotes bacterial and mold growth. Below is a list of common fruits and instructions on how to pick and store them.

Apples
Pick apples that are bruise-free and firm. It is recommended that apples be individually wrapped in newspaper and then stored in a cool, dark place such as your refrigerator's produce bin. The newspaper helps prevent contact between the apples, so if one spoils it will not harm the others. Apples may be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, and in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Be sure to wait and wash them just before you eat them.

Apricots
Choose apricots that are firm and unblemished. Ripe apricots should be a dark yellow-orange color. Should you need to ripen apricots, place them in a paper bag for 1-2 days. Once they become soft to the touch, store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator to prevent over-ripening. They will store for up to 1 week.

Bananas
Select bananas that have a little bit of green on their peel. This means that they aren't yet ripe, but should be within the next couple of days. Bananas are to be stored at room temperature in order to ripen. They are ripe once there is no more green left on the skin. Once this occurs, you may refrigerate them for up to 4 additional days. The skin will turn brown but the fruit will remain white.

Blackberries
Choose firm, plump, fully black berries. Do not pick berries that are purple or red as they are not yet ripe. Blackberries are to be stored in a loosely sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Only wash them just before use.

Blueberries
Pick blueberries that are firm and deep blue in color. If buying in a container from the store, make sure none of them are mushy or any liquid is dripping from the container. Blueberries can be stored in an open container (allowing air to circulate) in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Only wash them just before use.

Boysenberries
Select berries that are dark purple/black in color. Boysenberries are to be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Wash just before use.

Cantaloupe (or Muskmelon)
Pick cantaloupe that are slightly soft at the opposite end of where the stem was, and contain no green on the exterior. If picking from the ground, the stem should easily separate when little pressure is applied. Ripe fruits should contain a strong muskmelon aroma. Cantaloupe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cherries
Choose cherries that are firm, glossy and plump with no blemishes. They should be a deep, dark red with bright green stems. Generally, the darker the cherry, the sweeter the taste. They may be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Cherries without stems will need to be used earlier. Only wash cherries just before use.

Coconuts
Select coconuts that are heavy (compared to others) and have no cracks in their shells. The shells should not contain any blue or purple spots. Shake the coconuts and listen for liquid inside. The more liquid you hear, the better. If you do not hear anything, the coconuts are too ripe. Unopened, they may be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month, and in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Once opened, the coconut milk and water should be consumed within 2 days, and the meat wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Cranberries
Choose cranberries that are firm, shiny and plump with color ranging from bright to dark red. They may be stored in a sealed container for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.

Currants
Pick currants that are soft, with colors that are almost black, deep red, or translucent white, depending on what type of currants you are picking. They are best picked by the cluster as they last longer when still attached to the stem. Currants may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Do not wash until just before use.

Dates
Select dates that are dark brown, fragrant and plump. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 30 days.

Dragonfruit
Pick dragonfruit that is brightly and evenly colored. It should be a little soft to the touch but not mushy. There should be no visible bruising or any brown color on the tips of the leaves. To ripen, leave at room temperature until skin turns yellow. The fruit may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Durians
Choose durians that are free of dark patches and holes. Ripe durians, when shaken gently, should produce subtle knocking sounds. Hard knocking sounds means the fruit is not ripe and no sound means the fruit is too ripe. You should also smell a subtle fragrant odor. Open durians may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Figs
Select figs that are slightly wrinkled and soft but not mushy, and slightly bent at the neck. Ripe figs should smell sweet. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, and in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Gooseberries
Choose gooseberries that are dry, hard and plump, and avoid those which are green as they are not ripe. Once they are de-stemmed and washed, gooseberries can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Grapefruit
Pick grapefruits that are firm and smooth, with no soft spots, and They should be heavy for their size. They may be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week, and in the refrigerator for up to 2 months if placed in a ventilated bag. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days, and in the produce drawer in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Guavas
Select guavas that are unblemished and somewhat firm. They should give a little when pressed. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Honeydew
Pick honeydew that have a smooth, shiny exterior, and are slightly soft at the end opposite of where the stem was. When smelled, honeydew should give off a sweet aroma. When picked from the ground, choose melons with white or pale yellow skin. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days, and in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Jackfruit
Choose jackfruit that is bright yellow (sometimes with a little green) and has a sweet aroma. It should sound hollow when thumped and should give a little when pressed. Cut fruit can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Kiwi
Select kiwis that contain no bruised spots and that give a little when pressed. Those which are too soft (or mushy) are too ripe, and those which are too hard are not ripe, and therefore will need to sit at room temperature away from sunlight for up to 1 week. Once ripe, kiwis may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Kumquats
Choose kumquats that are yellow-orange in color and no longer contain any green. They may be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Lemons
Pick lemons that are small, heavy for their size, and free from bruises or cuts. When picking fresh from the tree, choose lemons that are yellow-green in color as they are almost ripe and won't need to be used immediately. Lemons may be stored at room temperature in order to maintain their juiciness, or they may be stored in the produce drawer of your refrigerator for 10+ days.

Limes
Select limes that are brightly colored, firm, glossy, and heavy for their size, without blemishes, soft spots and wrinkles. When picking from the tree, limes should be picked when they are light green, just before they turn yellow. Ripe limes will be juicy when cut open. Lime wedges can be stored in a bag in the produce drawer of your refrigerator for up to 5 days. Whole limes can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week, and in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.

Lychee
Pick lychees that have hard, non-prickly, rosy-looking skin, and contain very few brown blemishes, if any. Fruits with an intact shell and still containing the stem will keep for longer. Unpeeled, lychees can be stored in a bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Mandarin Oranges (Tangerines, Clementines, etc.)
Choose mandarin oranges that are firm, plump and heavy for their size, with no blemishes, cuts, bruises, or soft spots. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days, and in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Mangoes
Select mangoes that are firm but give when pressed lightly. They should have a sweet aroma near the stem, without broken skin and black spots. Mangoes, if hard, can be ripened in a paper bag at room temperature for up to 3 days, and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Mulberries
Choose mulberries that are fragrant, slightly firm, plump and round with no juice leaking from them. Avoid berries that are green, white (unless picking the white Asian variety), or yellow. It is important to refrigerate mulberries as soon as possible as they are a fragile fruit. They can be stored in a bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Don't wash mulberries until just before use.

Papayas
Pick papayas that are turning from green to yellow or orange-red (depending on the variety), and give slightly when pressed. They should not be mushy. Firm, green, unripe papayas can be purchased and ripened at room temperature for 1-3 days. Ripe papayas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Passion Fruit
Select passion fruit that are orange, deep purple or yellow (depending on the variety), large and heavy, and have wrinkled skin. You can also choose fruit with smooth skin and ripen it at room temperature for a few days. Once ripe, store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Passion fruit can be washed and dried before stored.

Peaches
Pick peaches that are yellow, orange or have a little blush of red (depending on the variety). They should give a little when pressed, and have a mildly sweet aroma. When picking from the tree, ripe peaches should come away from the branch easily, or will have fallen to the ground. Unripe peaches can be placed in a paper bag and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. Once ripe, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Pears
Choose pears that have no cuts or holes, and give a little when pressed at the top near where the stem meets the fruit. They should also yield a little when placed in the palm of your hand and lightly squeezed. If still firm, pears can be ripened by storing at room temperature for up to 3 days. Once ripe, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Pears are not to be refrigerated unless they are ripe. Wash just before use.

Pineapples
Select pineapples that are heavy and firm but give slightly when pressed, and provide a sweet aroma (but not too sweet) towards the base. The base should be lighter in color than that of the rest of the pineapple and the eyes (or petals) around the pineapple should be flat. They should not contain bruises of soft spots. Pineapples can be stored either at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When cut, however, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Plantains
Depending on what you are using them for, plantains can be green, yellow or black. As they ripen from green to black, they develop more sweetness. Green, unripe plantains can be stored at room temperature and ripened for up to 6 days. Once ripe, they may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Similar to bananas, when stored in the refrigerator, the plantain skin may turn black, not affecting the fruit inside.

Plums
Choose plums that are firm but give a little when pressed gently with your thumb. Ripeness should not be judged by color as there are many varieties of plums with a variety of colors. They should be free from cuts or bruises and should not be shriveled. Plums can be ripened in a paper bag at room temperature and then refrigerated for up to 4 weeks.

Pomegranates
Select pomegranates that are brightly colored, firm and plump. They should be heavy and large (about the size of a softball), with shiny skin and no cuts or bruises. When applying pressure to the brown-colored crown, the pomegranate should be neither hard nor soft. Once opened, the seeds and juice can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Whole pomegranates, however,  can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Raspberries
Choose raspberries that are brightly colored, firm and plump. When picking from the bush, ripe berries should separate easily from the stem. Raspberries, once picked, should be stored in a cool, dark place, away from sunlight. They can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Don't wash until just before use.

Rhubarb
Though technically a vegetable, rhubarb is included here as it is most often baked in pies. Pick rhubarb that are firm and glossy, with mature stalks that are approximately ½ - 1" in diameter. When harvesting from the plant, choose stalks that are firm and upright, and snap them off from the ground level. Be sure to remove the leaves as they are poisonous. Rhubarb can be wrapped in foil or plastic and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Star Fruit
Select star fruit that are firm with shiny skin. When ripe, the fruit should be yellow and the ribs should be light brown, but not shriveled. Green fruit can be ripened at room temperature until they turn golden-yellow. Ripe star fruit can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, and in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Do not wash until use.

Strawberries
Pick strawberries that are firm, plump and completely red. A yellow or green color signifies that they are not completely ripe. Strawberries are to be stored, loosely covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Do not rinse until just before use.

Watermelon
Choose watermelon that are dull and not slick-looking on top. If picking from the ground, the stems should separate easily from the watermelons. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Source?  Original content?

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Source?  Original content?

My thoughts exactly, MDV.

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I researched all of these vegetables and compiled this guide from a variety of online sources.

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