Lovers dole out fruit. It's sexy, right? Globes of exploding juice, stained lips, original sin, squeals of delight -- not to mention the romantic armloads of literary precedence. (Goblin Market is still by far my favorite fruit scene, perhaps seconded by Laura Ingalls Wilder's account of oranges at Christmas. Other accounts of oranges are just too ear-reddening).
As far as gifts to lovers go, fruit seems fairly straightforward -- but bad fruit is easily come by, and about as unsexy as it gets.
Fortunately for the fruitless lover, I can provide expert selection advice. Credentials: I am the Blueberry Princess. I am also a professional Apple, Strawberry, Grape, Peach, Plum, Cranberry, and Cherry Harvester, and Hawker of Fresh Fruits at the darling old H'burg Farmer's Market (and now let us all sigh for a hot, misty morning peddling peaches).
1. Fruit stickers are anathema.
2. Fruit should only be picked & consumed at the peak of ripeness.
You can purchase stone fruits like peaches -- very locally -- and let them soften up a bit on the counter. A note on peaches: the darkest color splotches only indicate sunburn and are of no consequence when considering ripeness. The background color should be creamy-pink, without a hint of green. If they're eating-ready, they shouldn't survive a trip down the block on a feather bed, let alone a tractor trailer across ten states.
Blueberries are relatively durable. Good ones, that is -- no mold, scratches, or the faintest hint of underage pink -- will keep quite well in the fridge for those who practice delayed gratification. The juicy berries -- rasp, black, straw, wine, etc... -- do not keep for any significant duration. They're best from the stem straight to your lover's lips, and a good excuse for a suggestively pastoral outing. Serve all berries one at a time.
Apples vary considerably. Avoid "Red Delicious;" they're mealy and bland.
And in spite of all the classical hedonism of grapes, I'm snobbish about the convenient seedless ones. I'd much rather have a flavorful Concord -- maybe Muscat -- and so what if spitting out the seeds isn't sexy.
The navel of a melon should straight-up smell like pheromones.