Grocery Buying Guide: How to Choose Ripe Oranges at the Supermarket
There’s nothing better than bringing home a bag of juicy, ripe oranges for baking, drinking, or just nibbling. Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, oranges are a sweet and delicious treat year-round. (You can also put them to work all around the house with these clever new uses for oranges.) But how do you get the perfect ripe orange no matter the season? Here are some secrets to ensuring the most delicious picks:
1. Give ’em a squeeze
Generally, the tastiest orange—whatever the variety—will be firm, full-coloured, smooth and thin-skinned. As you would with most fruits and veggies, steer clear of oranges that are too soft, show even the smallest signs of mold, or feel as though they have bruises. Don’t be afraid of slight scratches or marks on the skin; this is called “wind scarring,” which happens when fruit rubs against the tree branches during windy weather.
2. Go for heft
When you pick one up, you should feel a good amount of weight in your hand, like a small sports ball. This heaviness indicates how much juice is in your orange. Don’t be afraid to give it a sniff. The sweetest and ripest fruits will emit the scent of their juices through the skin.
3. Choose the season’s best
Make sure to pick a variety that is in season. Navel oranges, for example, taste freshest from midwinter to early spring. Valencias are their juicy best from late spring to midsummer. And blood oranges are in their prime from early winter until early spring. (These brilliant hacks can shave 25% off of your grocery bill!)
4. Consider the colour
No matter the variety, your orange should be a bright colour. With navels, look for a vivid, solid orange hue. Ripe Valencias might still have a greenish tinge, as they reabsorb chlorophyll while hanging on the tree during warmer months.
5. Store them properly
Use oranges as a cheery accent on your table (they’ll keep at room temperature for up to a week), or store in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. (Here are 20 foods you’re spoiling by putting in the fridge.)
Use these tips to keep fruits and vegetables fresh for longer!