Nothing is better than fresh, sweet, delicious fruit straight out of the fridge (mmm). But there are some “tricky” fruits that are hard to tell whether or not they are ripe enough, especially without having to cut them open. Here is the ultimate cheat sheet on how to tell if these fruits are ripe and ready to eat. Let us know if you have any of your own #modernpioneering hacks in the comments or on social media so we can learn from each other.

How to Tell If These Tricky Fruits Are Ripe:

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Watermelon

A truly mouth-watering watermelon can be picked by giving it a “thumping.” A ripe watermelon will make a deep, hollow sound, as if you were knocking on a heavy wooden door. A not-so-ready one will make a higher pitched sound, like tapping on a thin board. When thumping the watermelon, you can either tap lightly with your knuckles, or give it a flick with your fingers. Be sure that you are not hitting the melon too hard; you’re giving it a thump, not a pounding. To be more certain, it’s also a good idea to lift the watermelon to see how heavy it is. A ripe watermelon should be pretty heavy, since it’s packed with juice. Once you pick out your perfect melon, consider making beautiful fruit vases using the skin instead of throwing it away!

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Coconut

The most obvious way to tell if a coconut is ripe is the coloring of the skin. Mature, ripe coconuts are brown. Additionally, the three “eyes” on the husk will be softer than the rest of the “fuzzy” skin: try giving them a press! Lastly, if you give the nut a good shake, you will hear the coconut water sloshing inside. However, it would sound a little muted compared to a green, less ripe coconuts. This is because there is more meat inside a ripe coconut, which is sweet and firm to eat. On the other hand, it is not at all bad to try a green coconut as well. Even though it’s considered unripe, a green coconut has a lot more of the sweet coconut water than mature coconuts do.

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Pineapple

To tell whether pineapples are ripe, put your nose against the bottom of the prickly patterned fruit and give it a good sniff. A ripe pineapple will smell sweet, whereas an unripe one will not smell like much, and an overripe one will have a sour odor. You should also try pressing lightly against the skin with your fingers, or holding the fruit in your hand and giving it a soft squeeze. The skin will be tough, but a ripe pineapple will give into the pressure.

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Cantaloupe

Because cantaloupes are also a type of melon, it should undergo similar tests that watermelons do to check for ripeness: hollow sound and heaviness. But a different indicator from watermelons that cantaloupes have is the netting on the skin. This netting should be thick and well defined. The netting should not look smooth or faded out. The base skin color underneath the netting should also be a slight golden color. The ultimate ripeness indicator, however, is the blossom end of the fruit. This part should smell very sweet and fragrant, and when touched, should yield a little under the pressure.

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Apple

Apples could potentially be the trickiest of all on this list. First of all, be sure to tell what color the apple is supposed to be based on what kind of apple it is (there are thousands). The Red Delicious, McIntosh, and Golden Delicious are some of the most common kinds of apples out there. A ripe apple should have a deep, vibrant color, whether it be red, green, or yellow. More often than not, an unripe apple can seem a little pale and bland in comparison. The skin of a ripe apple should be tight and firm; to check this, hold the fruit in your palm and give it a light squeeze. Be careful not to bruise it!

Lastly, if you weren’t able to pick a ripe fruit from the supermarket, in some cases leaving it out for a couple days on the window shelf or kitchen table in room temperature and a little sunshine before putting it in the fridge will help ripen it up (be sure you haven’t already cut the fruit).

Know any other tricks to tricky fruits? Let us know in the comments below! You can also tag us on Instagram at @georgiapellegrini, and be sure to follow us on Facebook!

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Cheryn Shin

Cheryn is a college student from Seoul, South Korea. She currently studies at Wellesley College. Cheryn loves writing, reading, playing video games, and watching movies; chances are you'll catch her doing one of these things at all times!