Since you can get fruits from all around the world at your local supermarket, ready to eat, it stands to reason that most of them are shipped out before they are fully ripe. When you bring fruits home from the store, some will be ripe and ready to go and some will continue to ripen in your house. Many fruits that stop ripening when they are picked will need to go in the refrigerator right when you get them home, but there are quite a few that continue to ripen after picking and won't need refrigeration right away.
Fruits to Keep Out
Some common fruits that don't require refrigeration when they come home from the store include: cantaloupe, honeydew, pears, pineapples, peaches, mangoes, plums, papaya, nectarines, kiwi, apricots, bananas, plus a couple that many people aren't sure are fruits or not; avocado and tomatoes. Tossing these fruits into the fridge before they have ripened will affect the texture and may alter the taste.
Refrigerated as Bought
Some fruits stop ripening when they are picked, and these fruits require refrigeration when you get them home to help keep them fresh longer. Fruits on this list include apples, raspberries, watermelons, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, cranberries, lemons, limes, blackberries, oranges, pomegranates, gooseberries and tangerines. The Health Canada website suggests refrigerating fresh fruits within two hours of peeling them or cutting them up to prevent the spread of bacteria. Cut fruits should also be stored in a separate container in the fridge to prevent cross-contamination.
Speeding Up the Process
If you'd like to speed up the ripening process of the whole fruits, you can do it on your own with a large paper bag. Just set the fruit into the bag in one layer, then fold the top of the bag down and poke several holes in the bag on both sides. Place the bag on your counter and leave it there until the fruit is ripe. Depending on how much ripening was needed and what kind of fruit you use, this process may take a couple of days.
Into the Fridge
If you aren't ready to eat a non-refrigerated fruit when it has become ripe, it is wise to slide it into the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process. Once they are in the refrigerator, you will likely get a few more days, but left out they will overripen and start to rot quickly. It is also important to keep the fruits you put into the fridge away from foods like meat, seafood and poultry that may also be taking up space in the refrigerator.
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