The Secret to Keeping Fruit Luscious

When it comes to ripening, not all fruits are created equal. Use these handy guidelines from to get the maximum flavor and shelf life from your fresh fruit.

You’re back from your weekly trip to the grocery store, where you spent considerable time in the produce section, trying to select the freshest, best-looking fruit available.

To ensure that your time —and money — were well spent, you now need to take special care of your produce. Besides careful selection, the key to great-tasting fruit is proper storage at home.

Follow the handy guidelines below and you’ll enjoy the maximum flavor and shelf life from your fresh fruit every time. And by clicking on each fruit listed below, you’ll also find detailed storage times and tips, including freezing instructions.

Ripen or Soften At Room Temperature Before Refrigerating

The following fruits continue to ripen or soften after they’ve been picked; premature refrigeration will cause them to lose flavor and develop a mealy texture. Store these fruits at room temperature until they’re fully ripe or soft, then refrigerate:

• Apricots

• Avocados

• Bananas

• Cantaloupe melons

• Casaba melons

• Cherimoya

• Crenshaw melons

• Guava

• Honeydew melons

• Kiwi fruit

• Mangos

• Nectarines

• Papayas

• Passion fruit

• Peaches

• Pears

• Persimmons

• Pineapple

• Plantains

• Plums

• Prickly pears

• Quinces

• Sapote

• Star fruit

Refrigerate Immediately After Purchase

Once the following fruits have been picked, they won’t ripen any further. Leaving them at room temperature will only speed up their decay, so you should store them in the fridge immediately after purchase:

• Blackberries

• Blueberries

• Boysenberries

• Cherries

• Cranberries

• Currants (red, black or white)

• Elderberries

• Figs

• Grapes

• Huckleberries

• Litchis

• Raspberries

• Rhubarb

• Strawberries

Store At Room Temperature OR Refrigerate Immediately

The following fruits won’t ripen any further once they’ve been picked and they’ll last longest if you store them in the fridge right away. But it’s also fine to leave them at room temperature for a while, if you so desire (click on each fruit for specific storage times). For instance, you might want to include these fruits as part of an attractive counter-top fruit arrangement.

• Apples

• Clementines

• Grapefruit

• Kumquats

• Lemons and Limes

• Oranges

• Pomegranates

• Tangerines

• Watermelon