When I was little I would go to the grocery store with my Mom. While in the produce section my Mom would pick up a cantaloupe, smell it, turn it over looking at the underside, and then squeeze it. To my young eyes this was strange. What was Mommy doing? It was a mystery to me but she always seemed to pick the best fruit and veggies of the bunch.
Here's some tips on choosing the best fresh produce at your local produce market, farmers market, or grocery store.
Apples- Good, bright color usually indicates full flavor. Check for firmness, firmer apples are usually the freshest. Check for bruises.
A new crop of apples tend to have a tart flavor in the fall but then the flavor mellows out in the winter.
Asparagus- Stalks should be tender and firm. Tips should be close and compact. Choose stalks with very little white; they are the most tender. Prepare asparagus soon as the stalks will toughen rapidly.
Snap Beans- Those with the smallest seed pods are the best.
Avoid beans with dry looking pods.
Berries- Blackberries, Raspberries and Strawberries- Select plump, solid berries with good color. Avoid stained containers-this indicates overripe, leaky berries. Blackberries and raspberries with the caps still attached may not be ripe. Strawberries without their caps may be too ripe.
Broccoli and Cauliflower- Flower clusters on broccoli and cauliflower should be tight and close together. Avoid broccoli with yellow flower clusters. Smudgy, dirty spots may mean insect damage.
I’ve got lots more fruits and veggies to cover so I’m going to break this up into the next three posts. Stay tuned!