Fruit Care 101

Taking care of fresh fruit properly can be mighty confusing. Do you put it in a paper bag? In the fridge or out? How do you keep a pile of peaches through the week without them all getting ripe at the same time? 

Have no fear; the answers are here!

Apples: ALWAYS refrigerate, preferably in a plastic bag to keep them from dehydrating (or at least keep them in the produce drawer). Apples which are not refrigerated will lose their flavor and crunchiness quickly, and that is no fun at all! If you prefer to eat apples at room temperature (as we do), only take out what you plan to use within a day or two for best eating quality. Early season varieties (before October 1st) will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge. Late season varieties (after October 1st) will keep from one to three months in the fridge.

Asian pears: Always refrigerate, as they are ready-to-eat (they do not get more ripe after they are picked). Some varieties will keep up to 2 months in the refrigerator, but will lose quality if they are left at room temperature. Larger pears may be cut in half, and the unused portion wrapped in plastic wrap for later use – they will not brown like most cut apples or peaches! Ditto the above with apples…I prefer Asian pears at room temperature, so I’ll take out of the fridge just what I think I’ll use over the next day or so.

European pears: Keep at room temperature until desired softness is achieved, which takes anywhere from 1 day to a week. Test ripeness daily by trying to slightly indent the fruit near the stem end with gentle pressure from your thumb. Feel for a bit of ‘give’. To stagger ripening (so you don’t have a bunch of pears ripening all at once) keep some pears refrigerated while others are on the counter ripening. When fully ripened, use the fruit promptly or refrigerate for a day or two. Refrigerating for longer than that tends to turn a fully ripened pear ‘grainy’ (eeuwww!).

Plums: May remain at room temperature for a day or two at most; they soften quickly! To keep them longer, store plums in a bag in the refrigerator, and just pull them out as you need them to soften up. Some varieties of plums are best when they are super-soft, but most varieties are best in that “middlin’ stage” of softness. Plums get sweeter as they soften, so if you are a sourpuss, eat your plums firm and keep them in the fridge from day 1.

Peaches: Starting out firm, they will achieve the desired perfection of softness in 1 to 3 days at room temperature. Please keep peaches in a fruit bowl or on the counter; there is no need to hide them away in a paper bag! To delay softening, store peaches in a plastic bag or produce drawer in the refrigerator. While some people say peaches should never be refrigerated, we have found this only to be true with peaches which have been picked ‘too green’. Many commercial orchards pick fruit much, much too early. Then, the fruit ‘shuts down’ when it is refrigerated, and further ripening does not occur. When picked tree-ripe, as our peaches are, the fruit continues the ripening process even when it is cold… although refrigeration does delay the process. You can refrigerate our peaches for a short period of time without losing much in the way of flavor or texture. It’s certainly better to refrigerate a few, if you have too many, than to allow them to ‘get ahead’ of you by softening up all at once at room temperature!

Hope this helped

Enjoy your fruits…and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to talk with us at market or contact us


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