Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Traditional tips when buying fruits, a short list.

Pineapple is harvested when its "eyes" are well developed,
and the base of the fruit has started to turn yellow to orange.
Banana (Senorita variety) falls off from the bunch when
fully ripe. Thus it should be harvested green.

Abe V Rotor

What part of a fruit is the best? The best part of papaya is the lower half; it is more fleshy, sweeter and deeper in color. In the case of pineapple it is the opposite – the upper half is superior. Here is a cursory list to guide buyers and consumers.

Lansones – Extra large fruits have big seeds, and are not in any way sweeter than the rest in the bunch. Choose the medium size, quite elongated, and bright yellow in color.

Cucumber – Choose the size for pickling or about. As the fruit matures it loses its firm cartilaginous consistency and the seeds have already matured. Harvest okra, cowpea, patola, batao and string beans when still succulent, other wise they become fibrous.

Squash – Tough to the fingernail, does not exude sap. The fruit is mature and seasoned, and has glutinous (malagkit) consistency.

Ampalaya – Break the tip of the stem and look for the yellowish to orange coloration at the center. Red means the fruit is over mature.

Watermelon – Stripes are distinct and widespread. The cut stem should be green. Tap the fruit with the forefinger. If the sound is deep and dull, the fruit is ripe. Better still, ask the seller to make a triangular cut through the fruit.

Banana – The upper fruits in the bunch are bigger, sweeter and the first to ripen.

Caimito – Fruits becomes shiny when it is about to ripen. This is also true in avocado (Persea Americana) and tiesa (Lucoma nervosa).

Chico – Lightly scrape the skin of the fruit with your fingernail. If underneath is green it is not yet ready for harvesting. This is also a guide in buying unripe chico.

Sugar apple or atis (Anona squamosa) – Fruit well expanded, canals are distinct, color turns pale green, cracks along ridges.

. Guyabano (Anona muricata) - Fruit is well expanded, turns light green and shiny, and yield to pressure. Avoid mishapen and damage fruit. Bottom part is more fleshy and soft.

Sugarcane for chewing – Get the internodes closest to the base; they are sweeter than those near the top.

Reference: Living with Folk Wisdom, AVR, UST Manila

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