Lucky for us, Malaysia sits near the equator so we’re blessed with tropical weather year round. Because of the great weather, our fruit farmers can harvest an abundance of fruits throughout the year too! We all know how to eat our fruits, but do you know what to look out for if you want to pick the freshest and sweetest ones?
Look and check for these signs when you are buying any of these local fruits so that you can tell whether the fruits are fresh and ripe before purchasing:
Here’s a guide to help you pick the best fruits:
- Check the stem of the fruit, if it has one. You can tell whether the fruit is picked at the right timing from the stem:
- Green stem with a slightly firm fruit = Ripe
- Green stem with very hard fruit = Picked too soon and might be a little gritty when ripened
- Shriveled dry stem = Overripe
- Use your senses such as your sight, touch and smell to help you decide. If you have a blocked nose, borrow your shopping buddy’s nose, and both of you can learn to pick fruits together!
- Buy fruits that are in season. That way, you know you are getting fruits that are at its peak. Though we have an ample supply of fruit throughout the year, seasonal fruit seasons are between June and August, and between November and February every year.
- If there’s mold on the fruit, you can choose to cut the moldy part away and you can still eat the rest, but you can also choose not to pick that fruit.
- Bright coloured fruits are a good but colour is not the most reliable way to tell a fruit’s ripeness.
- If there are a lot of bruises and spots on the fruit and it feels mushy, it shows that the fruit is roughly handled and might be spoiled.
- Hold the fruit near your nose and smell the fruit. If it smells a bit sweet then it is ripe, if it smells overly sweet then it is overripe.
- Lightly press on the flesh of the fruit to gauge the texture of the fruit inside. If it is dented at the slightest touch then it is overripe.
- Some fruits such as watermelon will feel heavier once it is ripe and it shows how juicy it is too so don’t be afraid to do some arm workouts when you are looking for the heaviest watermelon.
Also, don’t forget that the recommended serving of fruits daily are 2 cups. You can chop your fruits up and use a measuring cup to measure for 1 cup of fruits or you can refer to this guide. One serving of:
- Banana – A cup of chopped banana or 1 large whole
- Mango/Guava/Dragonfruit – Half a fruit
- Papaya/Pineapple/Watermelon – 1 small wedge (About 1 inch thick) or 1 cup diced
- Mangosteen/Rambutan/Water Apple (Jambu Air) – 4 medium size
- Jackfruit/Durian – 2 seeds
- Duku / Langsat – 10 counts
Contributed by: The Malaysian Dietitians’ Association