Ahhh, fresh produce - there’s nothing better than a juicy apple, a sweet mango or a perfectly ripe melon. However, picking out those diamonds in the rough can prove to be a challenge. Sometimes that cantaloupe that looked so delicious in the store turns out to be…well, a lemon.
Here are a few tips to help you pick the cream of the crop (almost) every time.
Buy what’s in season: Even though most fruits and veggies are available year round, that doesn’t mean they are at their peak of freshness. For example asparagus and berries are not as fresh (or inexpensive) as they are in the spring and summer months.
Use your Senses
Open Those Peepers: Produce should be vibrant and not a pale, dull hue. If it’s lacking color on the outside, the inside will probably be the same.
Touchy, Touchy: Obviously, if something is covered in brown spots or completely mushy, you know it’s not fresh. Unfortunately, picking out the best produce isn't always that cut and dried. Fruits like avocados and mangos shouldn't be rock hard or total goo either. They should both have a slight amount of give when gently squeezed. This touch test can be used with everything from tomatoes to zucchini and pretty much everything in between.
Your Nose Knows: You've probably heard if it looks like a peach and smells like a peach, it’s probably a peach. The concept may seem over simplified, but there is some truth to it. If a peach is discolored and has no scent whatsoever, it will probably have no flavor either. However, if it has a little give and is fragrant, it’s probably a good pick.
Be Thick Skinned: From personal experience, oranges that have a thick, bright orange peel are the sweetest.
Follow these tips and you'll be picking produce like a pro in no time.
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