August 2, 2008

Picking Produce at Its Peak

Make it a practice to buy only as much as you can use within a short time, while it is still fresh. You can come back to our Farmers’ Market next week and restock with the newly harvested produce.
Vegetables don’t need to be picture perfect to be tasty. Some of the ugliest apples and tomatoes are far more delicious than the carefully controlled specimens you find at the supermarket. However, there are some attributes that you should pay attention to.
Choose vegetables and fruits that have:
*Good color – no brown or black spots, no yellow leaves, no mold
*Good texture – firm to the touch, no soft spots, no wrinkled skin, no wilted leaves
*Good size – no giant zucchini, cucumbers or eggplant
Produce can still be safe to eat even with some of these blemishes. Sometimes you can remove small, discolored areas with a knife. Always remove black, brown or soft spots and at least 1/2 inch of the flesh around the spot. It’s generally best to avoid sprouted potatoes and those with a lot of green areas, but small patches can be cut out.

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