Australia’s summer brings forth a plethora of vibrant and succulent fruits, each with its unique flavours and nutritional benefits. To savour the best of the season, it’s essential to know how to pick the ripest and most delicious fruits.

Local markets often offer the freshest and most seasonal produce. Here’s your guide to selecting the finest summer fruits this year….It’s all about using your senses of sight, touch, and smell.

Mangoes:
— Look for a vibrant colour and a sweet aroma near the stem. A fragrant scent indicates ripeness.
— Gently squeeze the mango; it should yield slightly to pressure without being too soft.

Watermelons:
— Choose watermelons with a symmetrical, uniform shape and a creamy underside. A yellow spot indicates ripeness where it sat on the ground.
— A ripe watermelon feels heavy for its size due to its water content.

Pineapples:
— Smell the base, a sweet aroma at the base suggests ripeness. Avoid green tops; they indicate under-ripeness.
— If a leaf pulled from the crown comes out easily, the pineapple is likely to be ripe.

Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries, etc.):
— Look for berries with rich, vibrant colours. Dull or discoloured berries may not be as ripe. White spots may indicate the beginning of mould.
— Choose plump berries that are firm but not overly hard.

Stone Fruits (Peaches, Plums, Nectarines):
— Gently press near the stem end; ripe stone fruits should yield slightly.
— A sweet fragrance near the stem indicates ripeness.

Citrus (Oranges, Mandarins, etc.):
— Choose citrus fruits that feel heavy for their size, because this indicates juiciness.
— Look for a smooth, vibrant skin. Blemishes or overly soft spots may indicate over ripeness.

Avocados:
— Gently squeeze the avocado; it should feel firm but yield slightly to pressure. Avoid avocados with mushy spots.
— Remove the small stem; if it comes off easily and is green underneath, the avocado is ripe.

Cherries:
— Choose cherries that are firm, plump, and shiny. Avoid dull or shrivelled ones.
— Vibrant, green stems are a sign of freshness..

Papayas:
— Look for papayas with a golden-yellow colour and some orange hues. Green papayas are unripe.
— Press gently; a slightly soft texture near the skin indicates ripeness.