Which fruit will ripen after picking?

imageMy favorite part of summer is the abundance of fresh ripe fruit available.  It is so nice to have a variety of fruit available at a reasonable price.  For me, this is the easiest time of the year to meet the daily requirement for fruits and vegetables.  Remember that a serving of fruit is roughly ½ cup of fruit or an entire medium sized fruit.

We always like to choose the ripest fruit available when grocery shopping but sometimes it would be nice to have fruit that is dead ripe later in the week.  Often at AnswerLine we get questions about which fruits will ripen at home and which can be purchased a bit under ripe that will ripen further.

These fruits will continue to ripen at home:

  • Avocados
  • Papayas
  • Bananas
  • Honeydew melon
  • Mangos
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

You can speed ripening by placing the fruit into a brown paper bag.  Adding a ripe apple to the bag can speed ripening. Be sure to check the fruit daily for ripeness. Wait until the fruit is ripe to refrigerate it. Bananas can be refrigerated or frozen.  The peel will turn brown but the fruit inside will remain light colored.  You can prolong the life of your bananas with refrigeration.

These fruits will not ripen further after picking.  You can store them in the refrigerator when you bring them into your home.

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Citrus fruit
  • Grapes
  • Pomegranate
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Enjoy the bounty of summer.  Remember that you are able to freeze or home can many of these fruits to enjoy this winter.

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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4 thoughts on “Which fruit will ripen after picking?

  1. Dear Liz
    What about oranges. When I buy a bag some are easy to peel and for others I have to wait one or more days and then they peel easily. Apparently because they ripened. And then taste delicious

    You state oranges don’t ripe.
    How does that work?
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Best regards,

  2. Jan, Liz has retired from AnswerLine. Contrary to the phenomenon you suggest, oranges only ripen on trees. However, they may peel easier after sitting for a few days at room temperature giving the pith — the white part between the skin and fruit — time to pull back a little lessening adhesion to the skin. Pith can be sour or bitter. While I can find no scientific evidence, there is a possibility that the sourness or bitterness of the pith may also lessen.

  3. Hi Dexter, Squash berries/moose berries are very much like other berries. They do not ripen off the vine and over time, will shrivel and dry something like blueberries if they do not mold first. They loose moisture faster because they are smaller berries than blueberries.

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