Tuesday, August 10, 2010

10 Common Produce Misunderstandings

Below are some interesting tips about produce- keep these in mind the next time you come in to pick up your delicious organic fruits and veggies!

- Tomatoes should not be refrigerated! Tomatoes being stored at room temperature is key to proper ripening!

- Despite what you may have learned, tapping or shaking a melon is not the most accurate way to pick a ripe melon. A ripe watermelon has an underside that should be starting to turn cream-colored and a dull surface. Color and aroma are also important for all melons.

- "Stone fruits" (apricots, plums, avocados, peaches and nectarines) ripeness is not best indicated by color, but should instead feel soft under gentle pressure.

- To keep berries the longest, do not wash them before storing. Instead, arrangle them on a dish or shallow pan that has been lined with paper towels, cover with plastic wrap, then place them in the fridge!

- Mushrooms should be wrapped in paper towels and placed in the refrigerator before being rinsed. The best way to wash them is to wipe with a damp cloth or mushroom brush so they don't become water logged!

- Fresh herbs should be stored refrigerated with the stems in water.

- A pineapple will not continue to ripen after being picked! Refrigerate it as soon as you buy it!

- Pears are best ripened in a brown bag at room temperature.

- Vegetables like cucumbers, peppers and soft-skinned squashes need to be placed in plastic bags in the crisper drawer of the fridge to prevent shriveling!

And, a final tip to keep in mind when you don't see your favorite produces year-round:

- The flavor and texture of fruits and veggies is best close to their natural harvest time! For apples, this mean the fall and peaches and melons will be best in the late spring. Produces won't taste as good when they have to be shipped from all over the world!

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