Tis the season for local markets and lots of fresh fruit at the store.  There is nothing like the perfect strawberry, a nice crisp apple or a juicy watermelon. There also is nothing more frustrating than getting home and finding the fruit you chose is less than tasty.

Here are some things to look for when choosing fruit to purchase, and all you need are your senses!

Apples – choose fruits that are deeply colored, firm, naturally shiny, and heavy for their size.

Apricots – Choose fruits that are fragrant and slightly soft but not mushy.

Blueberries – Choose berries that are firm, dry, and blue.  A white sheen is natural.  Check the bottom of the basket to make sure there are not crushed or spoiled berries.

Cantaloupe – Choose fruits that are fragrant and cream or golden in color (not green).  Avoid ones with soft spots.

Cherries – Choose berries that are plump, shiny, and darker in color.  Cherries with stems have a longer shelf life.

Grapefruit – Choose fruits that have smooth think skin and are heaviest for their size.  They should feel firm but slightly springy to the touch. Don’t worry about color.

Kiwi- Choose fruits that give slightly when pressed.  Avoid fruits that are either rock hard or mushy.

Oranges – Choose fruits that are heaviest for their size and have firm, smooth skins.  Don’t worry about color.  Avoid oranges with shriveled skin.

Peaches – choose fragrant, deeply colored fruit that is firm but slightly soft to the touch.

Pears – Pears are usually picked before they are fully ripe, but choose fruits that are free of bruises and softness below the stem.  Ripen them at room temperature; placing them in a paper bag speeds up the process.

Pineapples – Choose fruits that smell sweet at the stem end and have fresh-looking leaves.

Strawberries – Choose berries that are fragrant, uniformly red, and shiny with fresh green tops.

Watermelons – Choose fruits that are firm and heavy and sound hollow when thumped.  A properly ripened watermelon should have a yellow spot on one side where it sat on the ground.