Choosing Fruit

Where possible choose fruit from a loose display, this will allow you to check the produce and, in the case of some fruits like grapes and cherries, to sample them first. There should be no bruising or mould and avoid any fruit that looks damp and smells musty. Ripe fruit spoils quickly so handle it as little as possible and only buy what you can use within a few days.
APPLES should be sweet smelling with firm flesh and smooth shiny skin
MELON smooth skin free of blemishes and bruising, it should feel heavy for its size
LEMONS should have smooth glossy skins, even in colour, and feel heavy for their size
MELONS Gallia’s, honeydews, cantaloupes, charentais, and watermelons are best bought in season to ensure their freshness. Select those that feel heavy, give slightly when gently pressed at the ends and smell aromatic and fragrant
HARD FRUITS Apples and pears should have smooth shiny skins, be free of blemishes and have a good depth of colour, although the evenness of the colour will depend on the variety. The flesh should be firm with no sign of bruising. When buying pears choose those that are under ripe, then wrap loosely in a paper bag and allow to ripen at room temperature,
STONE FRUITS Check the flesh of peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries and apricots is firm but not hard. When fully ripe, the flesh will give slightly to gentle pressure. Select plump well-rounded fruit with an obvious seam, that feel heavy. The velvety skin should not be bruised or cut.
KUMQUATS should be plump and firm with a shiny deep orange skin. Avoid any that are shrivelled or dull
CHERRIES should exhibit smooth glossy skins and be I well rounded and plump. Stems should be green
BLUEBERRIES should be plump with a blue/grey "bloom"; check they are firm not soft
STRAWBERRIES of choice should be well shaped, glossy and deep red throughout. Hull should be green and fresh looking
NECTARINES skin should be smooth gold/red with a slight sheen; avoid any that are very hard and green. They should have a strong fragrance. To check ripeness, press gently along the seam
CITRUS FRUITS Choose plump citrus fruits - lemons, limes, oranges, kumquats, grapefruit, Satsuma’s and Clementine’s - and make sure they feel firm and juicy. The skin should have an even colour and look glossy, almost moist. The fruit should be free of blemishes and not shrivelled, and the skin should be unbroken. In general, the smoother the skin, the thinner it will be.
BERRIES Choose bright coloured black-, blue-, straw-, rasp-, and logan berries that are plump and fragrant. Check for soft or mouldy berries before buying and ensure the punnet is clean and not stained or wet, an indication that the fruit may be damaged underneath. Handle the fruit as little as possible; only wash them if absolutely necessary as this speeds mould.