Continued from the first post…here's some tips on choosing the best fresh produce at your local produce market, farmers market, or grocery store.
Head lettuce and cabbage- Choose heads heavy for their size. Avoid lettuce with discolored leaves. Avoid cabbage with holes in the leaves.
Cucumbers- Choose those medium to dark green. Long and slender ones are best. Skip the ones that are yellow.
Cantaloupes- A thick, close netting on the rind indicates best quality. Cantaloupes are usually ripe when the space between the netting is yellow or yellow-green in color. Press with your thumb gently next to the stem end. If it gives to slight pressure it is ripe. A fruity smell is also an indicator.
Honeydews- Honeydews are ripe when the rind has a creamy to yellow color. A whitish green color means it’s not ripe yet.
Watermelon- Watermelons are tricky. Ripe watermelons are dull in color and are well-rounded at the stem end. Check the underside. A white “belly” means under ripe- a yellowish belly is better. The larger the yellowish spot underneath, the more likely the melon is ripe. Thump the melon. It should have a low, hollow sound. The only sure-fire way to tell watermelon ripeness is by cutting a plug.
Onions (mature)- The size and color of the onion does not affect flavor or quality. Those clean, firm with dry outer skin are usually of good quality. If you see black areas or moisture around the neck it’s a sign of decay.
Citrus Fruits- Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruits, Tangelos- Choose the ones heavy for their size. A smoother and thinner skin usually means more juice. Minor skin blemishes or a slight greenish tinge does not affect quality. Avoid fruits that look withered or have soft, sunken areas. Light-colored lemons are tarter than deep yellow ones.
Part 3 is coming up. I’ll be covering the rest of the fruits and veggies…from peaches to sweet potatoes. *smile*