How to best ripen fruit and vegetables?

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Carlos Laforet Coll

To follow a healthy and varied diet, we should bring fruit and vegetables to the table every day, following their seasonality. But how to understand when fruit and vegetables are really ripe and how to make them ripen at their best?

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

To follow a healthy and varied diet, we should bring fruit and vegetables to the table every day, following their seasonality. But how to understand when fruits and vegetables are really ripe and how to go about it make them mature to the fullest?

Either that we buy fruit and vegetables at the market, at the supermarket or at the farmer, whether we have the possibility to collect it, not always when we want to use it has reached the correct point of ripeness.

Some indications on the fruit conservation are obvious: it is better to store fruit and vegetables in a cool place or in the refrigerator if we want to extend their shelf life, since in mild temperatures they could ripen more quickly.

Not for all types of fruit and vegetables, however, the same rules apply. It is therefore interesting to know some strategies to bring fruit and vegetables to the correct point of ripeness and to consume them at the right time.



Place the pears at room temperature to make them mature. They are ripe when you feel them slightly soft when you touch them. You can keep them in the refrigerator when they are not yet ripe and then move them out of the fridge to mature.

Strawberries and berries

As for the maturation of the strawberries there should be no problems, since they usually arrive on our tables when they are already ripe, as well as berries (it is then useless to pick strawberries when they are still unripe). To make them last longer, you can keep strawberries and berries in the fridge for two or three days before consuming them. Wash them only before consumption.

Citrus fruits

You can preserve citrus fruits - oranges, lemons, mandarins… - at room temperature or in the refrigerator, to adjust the ripening point. Usually these fruits tolerate both heat and cold well and their ripeness is already correct when we bring them to the table. However, we can prevent them from becoming too ripe quickly by storing them in the refrigerator.


Store the avocado at room temperature. Leave it at this temperature until it has reached the point of ripeness. Ripening is usually at the right point when they start to appear some dark spots on the peel and when the avocado softens to the touch. You can put it in the refrigerator to speed up maturation or to keep it.

Peppers, cucumbers and courgettes

Keep peppers, cucumbers and courgettes in the least cold part of the refrigerator or in any case in the drawers for fruit and vegetables if you want them to ripen but not too quickly to have them at hand for a few more days. The same rule applies to other vegetables, such as aubergines and tomatoes.

Cabbages and salads

Usually when cabbage, cabbage and salads arrive on our tables they are ready to be eaten. How to make them last longer? Keep them in the refrigerator e wash them only shortly before consumption. In fact, damp leaves are likely to rot even if you place them in the refrigerator.


If the bananas are still too unripe but you would like to enjoy them as soon as possible, store them at room temperature and not in the refrigerator. Between bananas or in the same fruit basket placed a few apples to accelerate ripening.


Persimmons ripen very quickly at room temperature. So if you want ripe persimmons very soon at hand, keep them in the warmest place in the house, while to slow down the ripening you should put them in the refrigerator.


If you have the opportunity to harvest kiwis, try to choose fruits that are not too unripe yet. In fact, the ripening of kiwis once harvested it is quite slow. However, try to keep them at room temperature along with some apples to make them ripen faster.


When the cherries are in season, take this advice into account, especially if you can harvest them in quantity: to prevent the cherries from ripening too quickly, do not wash them until the moment of consumption. You can keep them at room temperature if they are not yet very ripe or in the refrigerator to keep them longer.


And fichi continue to mature once collected from the tree. So if you have a lot of them available and you want to slow down the ripening, keep them in the refrigerator. If, on the other hand, you want a faster ripening, store the figs at room temperature.

Apples and potatoes

Apples and potatoes can be kept for a long time at room temperature arranged in wooden boxes. The potatoes they must be kept in the dark so that they do not germinate. The apples they can be stored both at room temperature and in the refrigerator. Place the apples at room temperature next to the fruit you would like to ripen faster.

Marta Albè

Photo source: California Figs

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