Three simple rules for picking fruit

My friends and family always seem to be impressed with my ability to pick great fruit. To them it's some kind of magical skill. To me, it's just three simple rules. Follow them and anybody can pick great fruit.

  1. It should look good
  2. It has to smell like something. Preferably like the fruit it's supposed to be.
  3. It should be heavy for its size

Rule 1 is a bit of a no-brainer. If it looks good (not too bruised, good colour, feels firm, no mushy spots, etc), then it's a good candidate to start with.

Rule 2 is also something of a no-brainer. If you're looking for strawberries, you better be smelling strawberries. Don't grab the container that doesn't smell like anything. If you grab a cantaloupe, it should smell like a cantaloupe, not dirt. It should be a good smell too, not moldy or nasty smelling. Of course this rule won't apply to everything. Bananas usually don't smell like much until they're starting to get black spots (a little too ripe for my taste at that stage). Watermelons fall into this small subgroup too. For those, there's Rule 3.

Rule 3 is one that some people can't seem to quite get. It's simple really. Fruits are made up mostly of water. A fruit that's heavy for its size is going to have a high water content (i.e. be very juicy), and will probably be a pretty good one to bring home. One that feels too light on the other hand is probably old and lost most of its water content. Ever grab a navel orange that felt a little on the light side? When you bite into a piece, it's all dried out and not juicy at all I bet. Same thing with peaches.

Keep these in mind next time you're shopping for some tasty fruit snacks. I bet you'll pick up some good ones.