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You can just sense the freshness.

You take that first bite into a perfectly ripe, juicy peach and instantly you know you’ve hit the fresh-fruit jackpot. But what about when you can’t put your taste buds to work? How do you know what to choose when you’re at the grocery store staring down aisles and piles of fruit?

Unleash your inner hunter-gatherer and let your other senses seek out the freshest produce.

Sight – First, put fruits and vegetables through the eye test. Are they vibrantly colored? Can you see any blemishes or bruises?

Smell – Food writer Becky Krystal says, if it “doesn’t smell sweet, it won’t taste sweet.” Generally, most fresh produce should have a nice, sweet smell. Too strong? It might be overripe. Sour or stinky? Move on. (Becky also offers a great list of tips for choosing specific fruits and veggies)

Touch – Fruits and veggies should be firm but not hard as a rock. A juicy fruit will feel a little heavier and offer up a little give when you squeeze it.

Practice makes perfect. The more you put your senses to work in the produce aisle, the better you’ll get at picking the freshest fruits and veggies. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. Whether at the farmers market or the grocery store, you’ll learn something new about what’s fresh and what’s in season simply by asking.

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