How the Heck do I Store this Fruit?
Oct 13, 2016
You decided to be bold one day & try a new seasonal fruit such as a Pomegranate.
However, once you got home with your groceries...buyers remorse quickly sets in over this unicorn of a fruit and you think to yourself now what the heck do I do with it?
We have all had that initial confidence when buying a new produce item thinking to ourselves...."It can't be that hard to prepare or cook" only to find ourselves at home, staring at it while feeling a bit overwhelmed and/or inadequate with our current Fruit & Veggie knowledge.
If this has happened to you before, know you are not alone!!
Here are a few Fall/Winter seasonal fruits with all the Juicy Details you need to know (pun intended) so that you can feel a little more confident when picking up produce items that aren't available year round!
Don't be afraid to try something new - You can do it!!
How to Select, Ripen & Store Fall/Winter Seasonal Fruits:
- Asian pears are available year-round, but are at their peak from late Summer through the Fall.
- Choose fragrant, unblemished Asian pears with little to no brown spots.
- Ripe Asian pears are hard and do not become soft like other pears – they are ready to eat when purchased.
- They can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week or up to 3 months in the fridge!
Cara Cara Orange:
- Cara Cara oranges (aka “red navels”) are at their peak in the Winter months.
- Choose those that are heavy for their size with a smooth, thin and tight skin. Avoid any with blemishes or extremely soft ends or moldy spots.
- Choose those that have a sweet, clean fragrance.
- They should be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks
- Grapefruits are available year-round; however California & Arizona grapefruits are at their peak from January through August, while Florida & Texas Grapefruit are at their peak from October through June.
- Choose grapefruits that feel heavy in the hand – Avoid those with soft or wet spots.
- Irregularities on the skin of a grapefruit are normal & not an important factor for flavor.
- Thinner-skinned grapefruits are typically juicier, but not necessarily sweeter or tastier.
- Grapefruits ripen when picked and should be stored in a cool place at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
- Kiwifruits are available year-round, but are at their peak in December through February.
- Choose semi-firm kiwi without blemishes.
- Kiwi ripens with age, but can become mushy if left to ripen too long. Place in the fridge once they are soft.
- The fruit should be rinsed and peeled to remove the fuzzy skin before eating.
- Persimmons (Hachiya, which is the most common) is at its’ peak from December to February.
- Avoid bruised persimmons as they do not store well and can spoil quickly.
- To quickly ripen a Hachiya persimmon, store it in the freezer overnight – In the morning, allow the cold-ripened fruit to thaw.
- Ripe persimmons will have a red-orange colored skin and will be quite soft.
- When ripe they will have a smooth creamy texture with a slightly tangy yet sweet flavor.
- If they are slightly underripe the Hachiya will make your mouth pucker at the unpleasant astringent taste!
- Pomegranates are usually available from the Fall through early Winter.
- Choose pomegranates that are bright, plump, round and heavy for their size. Avoid any with a dry-looking, wrinkled, or a cracked rind.
- Store in a cool place at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 2 months.
- Cut the outer skin and tap out seeds from the cream-colored, inedible membrane or use your fingers to loosen the arils. You can eat the whole pomegranate seed (aka arils) or just the juice.
Melanie Kluzek, Registered Dietitian for County Market
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