Fruit never behaves the way you want it to. Sometimes, it feels like it takes forever for your fruit to ripen. Other times, it’s brown and mushy in the blink of an eye (I’m looking at you, avocados and bananas—what gives?). However, how fast your fruit ripens isn’t totally up to chance—strategic storage with a tool like the Uncommon Goods Just Ripe Fruit Bowl ($68), created by Heather and Myles Geyman, can help you control the speed.
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The Uncommon Goods Just Ripe Fruit Bowl features three storage zones: a hook to keep bananas from bruising, a wooden surface (that doubles as a lid) for fruit that benefits from airflow, and a bowl for fruit that you want to ripen faster or fruit that does well in enclosed spaces. If you’re wondering how to know where to put what fruit, it all depends on whether or not the fruit is ethylene-producing, ethylene-sensitive, or ethylene-neutral. FYI, ethylene is a natural phytohormone that speeds up ripening for some produce while leading to spoilage for others.
Where to store different fruits
Ethylene-producing fruits should be stored out in the open because if they’re trapped in an enclosed space with ethylene-sensitive fruit, they can cause the latter to spoil. Common ethylene-producing fruits include apples, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, figs, kiwi, pears, and tomatoes. Ethylene-sensitive fruits include apples, avocados, bananas, grapes, honeydew, kiwi, lemons, limes, peaches, and pears—as well as veggies like onions. You may notice some overlap here—that’s because produce can be both a producer of and sensitive to ethylene gas.
The key to keeping your fruit fresh with the Uncommon Goods Just Ripe Fruit Bowl is storing the ethylene-producing fruits out on the lid and storing the ethylene-sensitive fruits in the bowl. You can also keep fruits that aren’t sensitive to ethylene, like blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and strawberries in the bowl (bearing in mind that these will only last about a day before they need to go to the refrigerator).
However, you can also use the bowl to intentionally speed up ripening. Say you have an avocado that you’d like to ripen faster. Because it’s both ethylene-producing and ethylene-sensitive, you can place it in the bowl and the lid will trap the gas to help it ripen. If you also have a peach you’d like to speed up, throw it in there with your avo and let the gas do its thing. Plus, the Uncommon Goods Just Ripe Fruit Bowl will look great on your counters.
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