In Season: Pomegranates begin to ripen in September and are available through January.What to Look For: Choose deeply colored purplish-red pomegranates that feel heavy for their size. Avoid any fruit that is cracked or has soft spots.How to Store: When kept in an airtight bag in the refrigerator, whole pomegranates will keep for a month or more. Pomegranate seeds should be refrigerated and used within a few days.
Strawberries are at their peak from April to June. Delicious on their own or sprinkled with sugar, these berries are also wonderful in breakfast recipes, desserts, and even salads. Find our 30 favorite recipes featuring this delicious fruit, as well as tips for selecting and storing them for optimal freshness.
In Season: Popular for centuries in Spain and Italy, blood oranges are now being cultivated in the United States. Look for blood oranges in specialty supermarkets from November through May. What to Look For: Blood oranges are somewhat smaller than navel oranges, and often have pitted skin mottled with hints of red; the interior flesh is deep crimson. The flavor is sweeter and less tart than other oranges, and may have hints of raspberry or a slightly bitter edge. Choose firm, plump oranges that are heavy for their size. How to Store: Blood oranges will keep at room temperature for several days, kept in a bowl or basket where air can circulate freely. To store oranges for up to two weeks, put them in an airtight bag or container and place them in the produce drawer of the refrigerator.
In Season: Peak season for tangerines lasts from October to April. They are occasionally available during the rest of the year but are best enjoyed in season.What to Look For: A good tangerine is firm or slightly soft, and feels heavy for its size. Choose tangerines with smooth, bright-orange, unblemished skin.How to Store: Tangerines will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
In Season: Grapefruit-growing season lasts from October through May. Grapefruit keeps well in cold storage, so it can be found in supermarkets year-round.What to Look For: Grapefruit comes in white, pink, and red varieties. Pink and red grapefruit gets their rosy blush from lycopene, the same antioxidant found in tomatoes. Choose fruit that's heavy for its size, with smooth, rather than bumpy skin; these are good indicators that the grapefruit will be juicy.How to Store: Grapefruit will keep at room temperature for a week when stored in a bowl or basket with good air circulation. Kept in an airtight bag in the refrigerator's crisper drawer, it can be stored for up to two months.
In Season: Oranges are at their peak between December and April. Since oranges keep well in cold storage, they can be found in supermarkets throughout the year. What to Look For: The most common variety of orange for eating is the navel orange, so named because the blossom end often resembles a navel. The skin of a ripe navel orange ranges in color from deep orange to yellow-green. Choose fruit that's heavy for its size and free of soft spots. How to Store: Oranges can be stored at room temperature for several days or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
In Season: There are two main varieties of persimmon commercially available in the U.S. today: the acorn-shaped Hachiya, and the squat, tomato-shaped Fuyu. Persimmons begin appearing in markets in late September and are available through December.What to Look For: Hachiya persimmons remain tart and chalky until they are extremely ripe, while Fuyu persimmons are sweeter and can be eaten while still firm. Look for persimmons with taut, glossy skin, avoiding fruit with soft spots or bruises.How to Store: If persimmons are still firm, store them at room temperature and allow them to ripen. Store soft, ripe persimmons in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
In Season: Most supermarkets carry grapes year-round, but peak growing season in North America is July to December.What to Look For: Grapes should be plump, with smooth unbroken skins, and be firmly attached to the stems. The green ones are at their sweetest when they have a pale-yellow hue. Often, grapes are covered with a whitish "bloom," which is a natural protection against loss of moisture and spoilage.How to Store: Discard damaged grapes, place bunch in a plastic bag, and refrigerate up to three days. To avoid destroying the bloom, rinse just before using.
How come pears -- versatile and delicious in so many recipes, and with more fiber, potassium, and folate than apples -- don't get more attention?In Season: Pears' peak season begins in late summer and lasts through January, though they are available year-round in many markets.What to Look For: Pears vary in color depending on the variety, from green-yellow Comice and pink-blushed Bartletts to pebbly copper-brown Boscs. Choose pears that are firm with no soft spots or blemishes.How to Store: Pears are unique in that they are best when picked unripe and then allowed to ripen off the tree. Choose hard pears and leave on a counter to ripen. A pear ripens from inside out, so check for ripeness at the thinner stem end -- the flesh should yield to gentle pressure. Once completely ripe, transfer pears to the refrigerator and use within two to three days.