How To Tell When Fruit is Ripe
August 17, 2014 6:55 PM Subscribe
A guide for the perplexed.
I knew the gooseberries should be ripe sometime in July. So, early July I bent down over the thorny bush and looked at the two dozen berries. Are they ripe? I gave on a gentle squeeze. It was pretty firm so I figured, no not ripe. A week later I checked again. Hmm, still firm. Maybe I should give it taste test? So I plucked a gooseberry and popped it in my mouth. Now, I have never had gooseberries before so I had no idea what a ripe one would taste like. I assumed sweet so when my mouth puckered up and I exclaimed, oh tart! I decided, nope, not ripe.
A week later I checked again. Oh look, they are starting to get pink! I guess my gooseberry is a red one. A week later and they were still pink but getting darker. A few more days I thought. And then I forgot until a week had gone by. As I squatted down before the gooseberry my mouth watering in anticipation of the ripe red fruit I was about to taste, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Not a single berry. Zip. Nada. Nothing. The thorns on a gooseberry are about half an inch (1.3 cm) long and I stabbed myself upon them several times looking under leaves and little branches just to make sure they were all gone. With the thorns, I didn’t expect any critters would bother it. Guess again.
So, how to tell when gooseberries are ripe? Someone else eats them before you do.