Ever chosen fruit at the grocery store that looks fine, only to get it home and realize that it’s dry, mealy, and flavorless on the inside? Nectarines are a fruit that many people purchase for eating in-hand. Since they are a personal favorite of mine, I take great care selecting them, and I’ve compiled a list of features you will notice in the perfect nectarine.

Things You'll Need

How to Choose a Nectarine

Looking at the display of nectarines, choose one that is evenly-colored, mostly a deep red.

Hold the nectarine in your hand and lightly squeeze. If the fruit gives too much, it is too ripe. You don’t want to be able to squish the fruit with no effort, but you should be able to squeeze it a little bit. If it is rock hard, it is not ripe and will be dry inside. If it is very soft, it is too ripe and will be messy. If it is either, select a different fruit. Repeat until you find one that is squeezable without too much give.

Once you have found a fruit with the right consistency, check the skin for bruises, soft spots, and other defects. If the fruit is clear, go ahead and buy it. Enjoy!