Will cut cantaloupe ripen

This is how you let fruits ripen faster

Tips and tricks for green tomatoes, hard peaches & Co.

We have all experienced it: the first bite into the supposedly soft pear turns out that it is still hard and pale as a chalk and that what looked like a juicy peach was in fact long past its zenith. There's nothing worse than forcing yourself to eat unripe - or overripe - fruit, but don't worry, after this article everything will be different!

With a few simple tips and tricks you can support the ripening process of fruits to make them just as sweet and juicy as you want them to be - whenever you want. Plan ahead and thank me later!

The science behind the ripening fruit

Before you dare to try various tips and tricks from the Internet, you should first learn and understand what exactly is behind the ripening of fruits.

Ethylene is a plant hormone with many effects in its life cycle: from cell growth to the diameter and height of the trunk. One of its most impressive functions, however, is how it affects the ripening of the fruit. To learn more about it, it is best to first divide fruits into two categories: post-ripening fruits and non-post-ripening fruits. We scrutinize both of them and see what role ethylene plays in their ripening.

Climacteric fruits, also called post-ripening fruits

Climacteric fruits are those that ripen after harvest. These include apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe melons, guavas, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, persimmons, plums and tomatoes.

This type of fruit goes through several stages of ripening triggered by increased ethylene production. Climacteric refers to a certain stage, namely the final stage when the ripening of the seeds within the fruit is complete. This triggers the increase in ethylene production, making the fruit more attractive for animals to eat and thus contributing to the successful spread of the plant seeds.

If the ethylene production in climacteric fruits increases, a lot begins to change - the color changes, the meat becomes softer, sweeter and less bitter, and the fruit develops a noticeably more pleasant fragrance. Ethylene can be produced both before and after harvest, with many fruits also being harvested completely unripe and then artificially ripening after shipping by exposing them to large amounts of ethylene.

How to process overripe fruit

If you have bought more fruit than you can eat - we know this rarely happens - individual fruits can overripe so that you can no longer enjoy them pure. Still, there are many ways to get the most out of them.

1.Use them for a baked dessert like crumble, crumble cake or tarts:

2. Cook them into a delicious jam or sauce:

3. Make yourself a fruit drink like tea, slushies, juice or smoothies:

How to process fruits that are not yet ripe

As with overripe fruits, you can also try the following ideas for fruits that are not yet ripe to bring out their sweeter, soft side if you don't want to wait any longer to eat them.

1. Poach them in a sweet liquid or wine:

2.Grill or roast them:

3. Make it into a salsa:

Non-climacteric fruits, also called non-post-ripening fruits

Fruits that cannot ripen after the harvest include z. B. blackberries, black currants, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, cherries, figs, grapes, olives, watermelons, coconuts, lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, pineapples and pomegranates.

Just because a fruit is not climacteric does not mean that it does not go through various phases of ripening. This is exactly what happens: berries change their color from pale green to deep red or purple, lemons initially look like limes. Even non-ripening fruits show signs to indicate their degree of ripeness. The difference is noticeable when the fruit is harvested. Non-ripening fruits that are harvested before they have reached perfect ripeness no longer ripen. In contrast, post-ripening fruits that are harvested unripe can still reach their perfect row "beyond the bush".

Pop quiz: are green tomatoes unripe or a specific type of tomato?

Green tomatoes are seldom found on supermarket shelves, but always in weekly markets. No matter where they appear, they create a lot of confusion. Is it an unripe tomato or a special variety that is green when it is fully ripe? 1,2, or 3 - last chance ... over. Both answers are correct!

Green tomato varieties are mostly old tomato varieties and taste exactly like ripe red tomatoes, but usually have a slightly striped or speckled skin.

Firm, green, unripe tomatoes can be found at the beginning of the tomato season. They're not popular in cooking, but can be incredibly tasty if cooked properly.

How to process green tomatoes

If you can find unripe or "green tomatoes" and want to enjoy their sour, strong taste, you can try the following methods in the kitchen:
- Puree the tomatoes and use them instead of canned tomatoes in a simple red sauce, which as a green sauce goes well with pasta, fish or fried eggs on toast
- Bread and deep-fry green tomato slices for a classic southern American dish
- Stir it into a tomato soup to give it a whole new taste
- Chop them up and make a salsa for tortilla chips or grilled meat
- Make a Caprese Salad 2.0 out of them: grill and serve the green tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper

Our most reliable tricks for ripening your favorite fruits

There is no one real and best way to ripen fruit. Some swear by wrapping bananas in rice, stuffing melons in paper bags, and covering mangoes and waiting for them to ripen. However, you should check them every day so that the fruit does not overripe or even start to rot.

Ripening avocados - the rice method

Avocados are a special type of climacteric fruit, as they can only ripen after they have been harvested. While other climacteric fruits continue to ripen both on and off the bush, this is not the case with avocados! That means, there are more common occurrences of rock-hard, avocados that still need some time to ripen on their own. How can that be accelerated? Place the avocado in a bowl filled with rice and cover it with it. The rice ensures that the ethylene that the avocado naturally gives off is captured.

Let bananas ripen - the classic paper bag method

Opinions are divided on bananas: some prefer them early in their ripening process, with firmer flesh and yellow skin without traces of brown speckles, others love them super soft, sweet and completely covered with brown speckles. I'm on the second camp, and when I can't wait for my bananas to soften, I put them in a paper bag to speed up the ripening process.

Let peaches ripen - cover and wait

You can't just eat a ripe peach - it has to be enjoyed. Therefore, you should place it with the stem side down on a clean kitchen towel and cover it with another kitchen towel. The peaches shouldn't touch each other. Wait until the scent is stronger and the flesh is just soft enough, and grab it. It usually doesn't take more than 3 days for their stalk to flatten a little - another visible sign that they're ready to eat.

Ripening mangoes - the flour method

Just like rice, flour is a great way to catch natural ethylene and speed up ripening. Place a clean, dry mango in a paper bag filled with flour to allow the fruit to ripen.

Ripening cantaloupe melons - the apple or banana method

Ripe melons are one of my favorite summer fruits. They can be easily ripened in a paper bag or by simply placing them next to other ethylene-producing fruits such as apples or bananas.

Do you have any more tips on fruit ripening for us and the community? Then write us in the comments!

Published on August 19, 2018