Tricks to Picking the Tastiest Fruits & Vegetables

Tricks to Picking the Tastiest Fruits & Vegetables
Most of us know the feeling of buying fruits or vegetables only to find out that they’re either already spoiled on the inside or so under-ripe that they need to be left out for days before eating. Thankfully it’s easy to pick fresh produce, as long as you remember a few basic tips.
 
Every fruit and vegetable has its own clues to its freshness, but you don’t need to remember a list of specifics in order to walk away with something ripe and tasty. 
 
• Smell, this is best with fruit and melons, and it should smell worth eating with a rich but fresh perfume. If it smells too strong, or odd in anyway, it may have been damaged or is old even if it looks OK.
• Examine the color, this one is pretty straightforward (such as brown bananas etc), but some fruit such as pineapple display their ripeness by their changing from green to gold.
• Examine it for lumps, bumps and bruises and insect damage. Do the store a favor and discretely hand in any damaged or old produce on their display as it removes the risk of contamination spreading and makes their display look better.
• Originally it was recommended to test by squeezing fruit near the stem (such as mangoes and avocados), but in reality this is a bad habit to encourage as this is a sure way to end with bad fruit, even if you take the fruit you tested. Just don't do it.
• Leafy greens, broccoli, carrots etc should be crisp and firm, any sign of wilt or discoloring and its past it’s prime.
• Particularly with tomatoes and soft fruits - buy & use good ripe ones for today and select slightly under-ripe ones to ripen at home for the next use. Don't buy all ripe food, unless you intend to eat it today as it could go bad before you needed it. If these sounds like it may be too complicated, shop when you need to.
• Avoid anything that has sprouted when it shouldn't (such as potato, sweet potato, onion, garlic, ginger etc).
• The common white mushroom should be closed (look at them stem pointing up - the mushroom should still be closed to the stem). When they open and reveal the brown underside, they age quicker. If they are open so the top curls up, they could be over-ripe which can make you very ill. Some varieties are OK like this, some aren't.
• Eggplants are usually light purple when they are fresh and darken more as they ripen. Near black eggplants have little time left.
• Ginger should be smooth with the smaller bulbs pinkish.
 
Did you know?
It’s worth noting that most commercial farms pick fruits and vegetables long ahead of their ideal ripeness. Try to see through the regular washings and coats of wax they get, and trust your nose and sense of touch as much as you do your eyes. An apple that’s shiny, evenly colored, and heavily waxed but super-soft to the touch is probably mushy and no good.

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