Maybe you are trying to get more fresh fruit in your diet or you want to try an unfamiliar fruit and don’t know how to tell if it’s ready to eat. Here are some tips for purchasing fruit that is perfectly ripe.


A ripe avocado should gently yield to pressure. If you peel back the stem, it should be green underneath and come off easily. If the avocado is brown under the stem, it’s likely overripe.  Often stores will only have underripe avocados. They can be left on the countertop to ripen, but be sure to check them every day so they don’t go bad. If you peel an avocado, and the flesh is covered in dark brown or purple spots, you will probably want to avoid eating it. Overripe avocados can interfere with antidepressant medications.


The hard rind on a melon makes it tricky to determine when it is ripe. Sniff the blossom end – a ripe melon will have a strong, sweet melon scent. Avoid cantaloupes with soft spots.


The skin of a ripe papaya should range in color from yellow to orange-red and yield gently to pressure. Green papayas are underripe. An underripe papaya can be ripened on the countertop if you can only find green ones, and it’s okay to buy one with a few green spots. You should avoid buying a papaya with mold on it.


Ripe guavas should feel soft if you squeeze them and should be yellow, not green. You should be able to smell their distinctive scent without holding the fruit near your face.


A kiwi fruit doesn’t change color when it ripens, so you will have to squeeze it. Unripe kiwis are rock hard, while a ripe kiwi fruit will feel soft. Avoid kiwis with bruises or dents, as they are probably past their prime.


To tell if a pineapple is ripe, give the stem end a sniff. If it smells like pineapple, it is ripe. Additionally, unripe pineapples tend to have more green scales, which turn yellow as they ripen.

Passion Fruit

The more green a passion fruit is, the less ripe it is. As the fruit ripens, it turns shades of purple, red, or yellow. Smooth passion fruits are usually underripe – you should look for one that is moderately wrinkled. An extremely wrinkled fruit is likely past its prime. Ripe passion fruits also weigh slightly more, and while they yield slightly to pressure, they are still mostly firm.


The ripeness of a mango is not indicated by the color. When a mango is ripe, it will feel soft when squeezed and have a sweet scent.

Dragon Fruit

A ripe dragon fruit should be red or yellow instead of green. The leafy “wings” on the fruit should have started to wither. If the wings are still colorful, it is not ripe. Do not squeeze a dragon fruit at the supermarket if you haven’t bought it, as it can bruise the fruit.

A lot of times it can be impossible to find fruit at the store that is already ready to eat. Luckily, they will ripen on the countertop in several days, if you are patient. To ripen fruit faster, put them near apples or in a sealed plastic bag with apples. Apples release ethylene gas, which makes fruit ripen faster.