Fresh fruit’s bright flavors and vibrant colors are easy to like, especially when served in a form that provides varied tastes and textures. Fruit salads are a fine example, but those require bowls and silverware to be enjoyed properly. Fruit kabobs provide just as much variety — and their skewers make them a more versatile and visually appealing option for social occasions.

Line ‘Em Up

Before you start assembling the fruit, take a moment to mentally combine their flavors, textures and colors. For example, watermelon’s crisp juiciness nicely complements denser, softer honeydew or stone fruit such as peaches, and also provides a visual contrast. Whenever possible, cut the fruit into uniform pieces of approximately 1 to 1 1/4 inches square, large enough to be sturdy but small enough to be pleasantly bite-sized. Intersperse the cubes with wedges of smaller fruit such as plums or apricots, or with red and green grapes or vividly colored berries, to increase their appeal to the eyes. Kabobs of sturdy fruits such as pineapple, melons and peaches can be grilled, caramelizing their sugars and deepening their flavors.

Some Practical Details

Not all fruits are equally suited to use on kabobs. For example, bananas and apples are kid-friendly but prone to rapid browning. Dip them in a bowl of apple juice or diluted lemon juice to slow the process and to preserve their pale beauty until the time of service. Citrus fruits prove difficult, because they’re not pretty with their membranes on but too fragile when they’re removed. Raspberries and blackberries fall apart if handled roughly, but larger, sturdier blueberries and strawberries stand up well to the skewer. Six-inch skewers are long enough to be showy but short enough to represent a reasonable portion. Bamboo or wooden skewers are easiest to find, and won’t react with the acidic fruit as metal skewers can.