November 2017
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Hi there,

Everyone knows fruits are good for you. And staying in Singapore, we are really spoilt with choices in the abundance of fruits varieties that are available to us at our fingertips.  You can see fruits importing from Taiwan, Africa, Chile, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, USA, Korea, Japan, etc. But how do you choose and buy fresh fruits is a really useful skill.

Fruits are very versatile, you can eat it fresh or cook it in savoury dishes, or desserts. Boil it with soup, like apple fish soup, or pear and almond soup or even papaya soup during confinements, down to making an apple pie or dip strawberry in chocolate.

However do you sometimes have problems when you are in the supermarket choosing from a whole tray or basket of fruits, not knowing how exactly to choose the good ones.


Of course we all know that we choose fruits that are usually free of bruises, cuts, rotten bits, and blemishes, on top of it, it got to be firm & shiny. Some of us also gauge whether the fruit is good by detecting the scent of the fruit, as this are usually hints of whether the fruits are sweet too.

So how exactly do you choose the fruit from supermarkets? I have collected some tips from friends and fruit stalls to help you select the best of the bunch in your next fruits shopping plus some other interesting info. 🙂

Apple – look for apple that is without bruises, preferably in bright solid color, mostly deep red. I recommend people to scrap out apple skin before they eat no matter how easy it looks to just take a bite out of it. The reason is just simply the wax, the wax that cover apples are supposed to allow apple to stay firm and fresh for a very long time, even more than a month, so you can see how powerful these wax are, and I really don’t think people should eat too much of it.

Apricots – buy those that are not green, it is quite hard to know if it is sweet, but buy this stone fruit during their season. Look for plump and juicy looking ones, it will go slightly soft when it is ripe.

Banana – look for those that has no spots nor bruises on them. It should be radiant yellow, firm and heavy. You can see bananas that has this green shades on it, those are good as well, but might need a while to ripe. You can keep it in paper bag to quicken the ripen process. You can start eating it when there is little black spots on it, or it turns slightly soft. Take banana in the morning is the best timing to have it.

Blueberries – look for those that is free of mould, or bruises. Check the bottom of the packet to make sure there are no juices. It is quite hard to find those that is totally not shrivelled in a whole pack, just soak the berries in water before eating.

Cherries – choose cherries with stalks that are still green, and intact with the cherries. Do not get those that turned brown or already shrivelled. Also, remember not to suck on the cherry seeds as well, because it is supposed to be toxic, so spit it out right after.

Durian – choosing durians involve hearing and smelling.  For hearing, shaking the durian to locate a subtle knock, if there is no sound, it usually means the durian is too ripe, too noisy means it is still not ripe.  Smell the durian about an inch away from the husk, if it is too strong, it signifies too ripe & if without any smell, it probably is too raw to eat.  Fresh durians can be kept in freezer for months.  As for  those who is afraid of the after smell, you can try pouring water into the durian husk with a pinch of salt and gargle the water & wash your fingers, supposed to take out the smell & also lessen the “heatiness” after eating, you can also try drinking apple juice too, that is supposed to take out smell as well.

Figs – choose those that look plump and heavy for their size, of course those smell nice will be a plus, but those you can find in Singapore is usually in the box, so you might have problems doing that.

Grapes – Look for firm, definitely not soft grapes because they are too ripe, and can rot very easily. Great if the stem is green and not brown.

Jackfruit – bright yellow ones, and must smell sweet

Kiwis – Look for plump and firm ones, they are ripe when it is soft to the touch. Do not get those that look like it is going to shrivel.

Lemon or Limes – choose the heavy ones, those are the juicer ones, choose those with thin skin as well. Roll the lemon on the table before cutting it, as it will help to release more juices. Lemon rinds can be used in cooking as well, if you want more on the lemon frangrance but less on the tartness of it.

Lychee – I was taught by the fruit seller that lychee is supposed to be “heaty”, but if you take out the bottom bit which is this tiny black fibre, the heatiness will lessen.

Musk Melon – Choose those with a sweet rich scent, check the bottom of the melon, make sure is not sunken as that means it is too ripe. Free of bruises is good but it is okay if there are spots, some said the threading on the melon also means something. The netting or veins should be thick, coarse. Skin color between the netting should be slightly yellowish.

Orange – Look for smooth textured ones, firm and bright color, although this can be tough, I did a few times picked some that look horribly ugly on the outside, but super sweet on the inside, so this probably still involve a little bit of luck. Thinner skin means juicer.

Papaya – When you buy from fruit stall, goes for the smaller ones. Get those that is turning yellowish and slightly soft.

Peaches – Do not buy green ones, you can store in a paper bag to quicken the ripe process

Pineapple – Fruit should be heavy, not soft, with a fresh scent. Leaves should be green and fresh looking.

Pomegranates – Do not choose those that are shrivelled, choose those that are uniform colored and heavy.

Prunes – do not choose shrivelled ones, firm with slight softness, no bruises and not moist or have cuts on it

Strawberries – should be bright in color, without mould and blemishes for sure, I usually do not take those with green shades in it, as it is usually a bit too raw & sour, always check the bottom of the box to see if the green ones is there. I always choose berries that must be dry as berries that are moist in the box tend to get mouldy really easily.  Some said smaller strawberries also tend to be sweeter, but from my experience, it does not necessary be the case. But I like those from Korea lately. Soak the strawberry in a bowl of water with a small pinch of salt before eating.

Watermelon – try to choose those that has a deep & hollow sound when you tap on the watermelon. It has to be heavy as well.

There are also some other things you might want to know about fruits :

Plastic Bags or Paper Bags or even Newspaper

Try not to place fresh fruits in plastic bags too, because the fruits will not be able to breathe and might get rotten easily. I usually do not wash my fruits after purchase and only wash it before eating, because I find fruits tend to spoil easily after washing. If I really must wash it, I make sure I will dry it or use paper towel to dry out the excess moisture before placing in the fridge.

At times when the fruit is still too firm, and need to ripen a little, you can always try to place it with an apple or banana  or in a paper bag. I think the paper bag ones is usually more common in the western world, perhaps try using newspaper?

But for Asians, we also have one secret weapon, that is to place the fruit into the rice container. I am not sure what causes the quicken of the ripening process, but it does work, so give it a try next time. Always remember what you place in it thou, you wouldn’t want to forget the whole thing and left a rotten fruit in it.

Ideas on Cut Fruits On The Go

So what about for cut fruits, I like to bring fruits to work, but the idea of having to cut the fruits in the office really deters me, so I will try to cut it in the morning and finish it up in the morning as well, however at times this seemed to be rather difficult, so you can doing this.

One thing I was told is that after cutting the fruits, try to wash it in salt water, that way the fruit colors will stay and will not brown easily or you can also squeeze in lemon juices into the fruits, it will also help to keep the fruits from browning, this usually works on fruits like apples, pears, you do not need to use this for fruits like melons, oranges, etc.

Fruit Juice Better than Actual Fruits?

Some people also has a misconception of drinking fruit juice, although fruit juice can be consider as liquid goodness compare to other health drinks or soda, too much fruit juice is also not exactly good for the body, because fruit juice contains a lot of fruit sugar, it lacks the fruit fibre, which is what your body needs when you take fruits.

One way is try to blend your own fruit juice concoction, and leave some fibre in it, serve both thirst quenching & good for the body. But if you really have no time for some real fruits, I guess fruit juice is also a good alternative. And always remember to drink the fruit juice straight away because the vitamins can be oxidized, and will lessen the effectiveness of it.

Tips on Cut Fruits

As for some of us who love to patronize fruit stalls for cut fruits, I was taught before that we should think how the fruit grow, like e.g. papaya, you know how they look in the tree right? The fruit sugar usually will sink to the bottom of the fruits, that’s why the sugar content of the fruit is usually found at the bottom of the papaya which is the sweeter part of the fruit. After learning this, I have been applying it ever since.  🙂

Follow the Crowd – Buy during Season

Buy fruits during the fruit season, you can usually see the advertisement in the supermarkets on the seasonal fruits, that way you usually can pack in some good ones, and also at great prices too.

Quantity matters

And last but not least, buy only amount that you can finish, over stocking up in your fridge will usually ends with a few rotten ones.

I will update this list as I get more info about how to choose fruits. Stay tune.  🙂

If you have any good tips on how to select certain kind of fruits, do drop me a comment and share it with the rest of us, so that we all can be a smart supermarket shopper next time J

Happy Shopping!

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