Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Aug 19, 2014 10:10 PM

Return "sweet" fruit that isn't sweet?

Would you return fruit advertised as "sweet" to the grocery store for a refund if you found it was not in fact sweet?

I bought some cherries from a local grocery store (Publix, not Whole Foods or Trader Joe's) last week that were advertised as "sweet." They were sold in sealed bags, so no sampling possible prior to purchase. It turned out that while about 10-20% were sweet, to my tongue most of the cherries were more sour than sweet. There weren't any moldy ones, and they all seemed juicy, just not sweet.

Would you have returned the cherries?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Nope. I can't blame a grocery store for nature's doing. If they were moldy inside the bag, I'd return them for being moldy, as that's due to improper storage, but sweetness is all up to nature.

    1 Reply
    1. re: boogiebaby

      I don't fault the store for selling fruit that is not to my liking. I fault them for misrepresenting the product. Calling something that is in fact not sweet "sweet" is misleading.

      The difficulty is in the subjective nature of how "sweet" is defined. If I found that a "seedless" watermelon I had bought actually contained numerous seeds, I wouldn't hesitate to return it because whether a watermelon is seedless or not is a more objective question that most observers would readily agree on.

    2. Since they can't sue Mother Nature, I don't blame growers or sellers for fruit that doesn't taste as good as I'd hoped. You pays your money and you takes your chances. Kramer got banned by the greengrocer for trying to return produce, don't forget!

      9 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        The OP is talking about the false advertising of the fruits sweetness by the retailer. If the seller advertises a fruit as sweet, that is what you expect when you buy it. By posting written claims of sweetness, etc. a seller accepts responsibility that their claims are truthful. If the fruit had no signage claiming sweetness, and I bought it, then that would be my problem.

        1. re: JMF

          It's not false advertising. If you know cherries, you know there are "sweet" varieties and "sour" pie varieties.
          How sweet or sour they are varies.

          1. re: monavano

            Not only that, but even buying sweet cherries there is usually a range of variation within a single bag. The retailer has no control over such things.

            1. re: The Professor

              When you get that perfectly ripe peach, or very succulent cherry, or corn bursting with flavor, savor the moment!
              I've bought peaches from orchards at the height of season, and they've been "OK", and I've bought them (for far less) at supermarkets, having been trucked in from GA, that had me rolling my eyeballs in delight.

              The question is, was the seller advertising in good faith?
              In the OP's instance, I believe that they were.

              1. re: monavano

                I am currently eating peach pie for breakfast because I bought a bunch of peaches - IN SEASON - that looked great and they were literally inedible - mealy blech - made into pie - with a surprisingly excellent mango they are delish - lemons to lemonade

                1. re: JTPhilly

                  Peach Pie sounds good.I am going to have to have
                  my mother bake a Peach Pie.We usually have Peach

                2. re: monavano

                  Tee hee. I just bought peaches here in GA that were labeled as being from New Jersey (the season being over here). But I bought with full knowledge of that fact and that I was taking my chances with peaches trucked in from afar. They weren't too bad.

                  I'm sure the OP's cherries were labeled with their origin. I think anyone buying cherries in late August in the Southeast is taking their chances. If I'm not mistaken, even way up in the northern Midwest and Pacific Northwest the season is over for cherries, is it not?

                  1. re: LorenzoGA

                    they're still being labeled as from the Pacific Northwest.

                    I think the long, awful winter pushed the harvests back.

          2. re: greygarious

            Kramer was the first thing that came to my mind when reading the post.

          3. I would definitely return them for false advertising. I see this all the time and just yesterday bought some white necatrines from Fairway, Pelham, NY that were advertised as sweet and crispy. they were neither, but sour and with a mushy, odd texture. They are getting returned today.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JMF

              Seriously? You can't make lemonade from lemons?
              When produce isn't what my little first world heart desires, I'm savvy enough to repurpose them.
              Thanks for passing on the cost of your entitlement to me.

              1. re: JMF

                Is it not for the consumer to shoulder SOME portion of the risk? I suppose a retailer could, at one extreme, test the fruit daily or otherwise take great care to ensure it has the absolute most desirable characteristics, but that kind of care would come at a cost. In some instances, I'd rather pay less and take some risk than pay more and take less risk.

              2. Absolutely not. To do so would be asinine.
                I'd remember and not buy more.
                This year, we're having a horrible pumpkin crop (and melons).
                I simply don't buy bad produce, when it's predictable.

                IF you can verify they're selling Montmorency (or another sour cherry varietal) INSTEAD of sweet cherries, well, yes, that's false advertising.

                PROTIP: they're NOT selling sour cherries. Sour cherries have an ephemeral season, and we're past.

                Secondary Protip: buy the cherries with the green stems, they're fresh. If you bought from a grocery store, you get what you deserved.

                18 Replies
                1. re: Chowrin

                  guess again...if OP bought them at Publix then OP is in the southeast.

                  Since cherries don't grown in Publix's coverage area, you really don't have many options *other* than supermarkets to buy cherries, as even farmer's markets will have trucked them in from somewhere hundreds of miles away.

                    1. re: monavano

                      No kidding.

                      Florida has a head-up-their-ass rule that farmers cannot sell directly to the public...that it has to go through a produce distributor.

                      There are roadside stands, but they buy from the markets.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        That is so sad!
                        I would be lost without my markets.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            I might have to rethink my retirement plans!

                            1. re: cowboyardee

                              there's starting to be some rumblings that it might be challenged, but for the short term? Yeah, we're screwed.

                              Fortunately, there are u-picks (because that's legal, at least...) and CSAs are picking up momentum...all we can do is hope and wait.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          She can simply NOT buy cherries. Or buy frozen, or canned.
                          I don't ask for mangos, or whine that they aren't good (none of them, including from Whole Foods, has been worth ANYTHING. I've had fresh mango on multiple continents. It is to DIE for. I don't expect it in PA).

                          Or buy dried cherries (twice dried mangos are fabulous!)

                          1. re: Chowrin

                            frozen, dried, or canned? You're joking, right?

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Child, joking is the farthest thing from my mind. As frozen cherries are better than fresh cherries let sit for too long, I think I'm recommending the better option.

                              1. re: Chowrin

                                Child? really? Are you so doubtful of your own position that infantilizing someone else to make yourself feel better is a valud argument?

                                Fresh cherries may or may not be good. They'll be at least edible.

                                Canned or frozen cherries will never be good, and anybody who thinks dried are a straight-up substitute is delusional.

                                It's not a better option in any possible way.

                                1. re: Chowrin

                                  There may be some uses in bakeries for which frozen cherries will do, but they are certainly no substitute for fresh sweet cherries. When they are out of season, one does without, or eats those that have been canned.

                                  1. re: GH1618

                                    and "canned" as in prepared at home, not out of a tin.

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      Yes. When you live near cherry country, as I did, you get a lot of cherries in summer for littlr or nothing (depending on who you know). You "put them up" for the winter.

                                      1. re: GH1618

                                        Dried sweet cherries are a sublime treat. I enjoy them just as much as I enjoy good fresh ones. A handful of them always goes into my oatmeal while it is cooking.

                                        1. re: The Professor

                                          In some cases, they do the job where a fresh cherry can't.

                        2. Along similar lines (but with melon), I have returned a watermelon before. After spending $10 on a watermelon (major craving) - only to cut it open and find a dry/white/mealy melon laying before me I packed it up and drove back. Luckily, the store was minutes from my house or I am not so sure I would do it...