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How to Pick Out Good Fruits and Vegetables
How to Pick Tomatoes, Squash, Melons, and Berries
During the Summer and Fall farmers markets and your local supermarkets are loaded with fresh produce. It can be hard to know exactly how to pick out the best fruits or vegetables. As a general rule of thumb always look for produce with no bruises, soft spots, or breaks in the skin.
* For berries like blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries look for ones with a deep color and no stem. No stem means that most likely the fruit was picked easily meaning they were ripe when picked and will have a good flavor.
* For fruits including tomatoes, peaches, kiwi, and plums you want to be firm with a little give. This means the fruit is ripe. You can buy these fruits while a little firmer and they will ripen. For peaches, put them in a paper bag for a couple days and they will get soft. The other fruits you can just leave on your counter and they will ripen. Put tomatoes on a window sill in the light/sun and it will ripen them.
* For melons like cantaloupe and honeydew take a good smell at the stem of the fruit. If it is ripe you'll be able to small it really well. A cantaloupe should be dark green with a white netting. Honeydew should have a yellowish tint or off white coloring to them. Watermelon should be a rich deep green. You can gently thump your watermelon and if you get a dull thump verses a high ring, you have a sweet watermelon.
* Squash, zucchini, and cucumber should all be around 6 inches long. A lot of people see really large ones and thing they are getting more for their money, but the larger ones will be watery, full of large seeds, and have a stringy consistency which are hard to eat. For zucchini you want a glossy finish and closed at the bottom.