How to Tell if Oranges Are Ripe

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How you will tell if oranges are ripe will depend on the variety in which you are observing. Find out how to tell if oranges are ripe with help from a professional chef in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Choosing Great Produce
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Angela Vallee, personal chef of Meals on Heels in St. Petersburg, Florida. And today, we're going to be talking about how to tell when oranges are ripe. So, there are several different varieties of oranges. First, and my favorite are, Naval oranges, these are the ones that are seedless. Now, when an orange is ripe, it should come off the tree by just pulling it gently. So, basically, if you've ever seen an orange that has a stem still attached to it, that means they haven't been picked ripe. So, the next thing you want to look for, is that the orange's skin color is nice and vibrant. For Naval oranges, they'll be a nice, bright yellow. However, the color is not always an indication of the orange's ripeness. For example, if you look at the Valencia oranges, these actually have a bit of a green toward the stem. And that's because during warmer weather, the orange's skin reabsorbs the chlorophyll from the leaves of the tree. And it turns it back from orange to green again. So, it's not always an indication for color. But what you want to also look for, is for a tender texture. If you notice, when I push on this orange, it has a bit of give to it. That means the skin is nice and tender. What you don't want, is a really, really hard skin, like this one. Also, if it has wrinkles on the skin, that's actually a very good indication that it is ripe. You actually want wrinkles in the skin, unlike other fruit, where if it's wrinkled, normally is old. So, feel for a tender texture, wrinkles in the skin, nice vibrant color and also it should be heavy for it's size. If it's nice and heavy, it means it's juicy. Good luck selecting your ripe oranges.


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