Experience is the best teacher in choosing quality but here are a few pointers on buying some types of vegetables.
ASPARAGUS ….. Stocks should be tender and firm, tips should be closed and compact, choose the stalk with very little white … they are more tender. Use your asparagus soon after purchasing … it toughens rapidly.
BEANS, SNAP ….. Those with small beans inside are the best. Avoid beans with dry looking pods.
BROCCLI, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, and CAULIFLOWER ….. Flower clusters on broccli and cauliflower should be tight and close together. Brussels sprouts should be firm and compact, Smudgy dirty spots may indicate insects.
CABBAGE and HEAD LETTUCE ….. Choose heavy heads for size, avoid cabbage with worm holes and lettuce with discoloration or soft rot.
CUCUMBERS ….. Choose long slender cucumbers for best quality. May be dark or medium green, but yellowed ones are undesirable.
PEAS and LIMA BEANS ….. Select pods that are well-filled but not bulging, avoid dry, spotted, yellowed, or flabby pods.
ROOT VEGITABLES ….. Should be smooth and form, very large carrots may have woody cores, oversized radishes may be pithy, oversized turnips, beets and parsnips may be woody, fresh carrot tops usually mean fresh carrots, but condition of leaves on most other root vegetables does not indicate degree of freshness.
SWEET POTATOES ….. Porto Rico and Nancy Hall varieties … with bronze or rose skins … are soft and sweet when cooked. Yellow to light brown ones of the Jersey types are firmer and less moist.
BERRIES ….. Select plump, solid berries with good color. Avoid stained containers indicating wet or leaky berries. Berries such as blackberries, raspberries with clinging caps may be unripe. Strawberries without caps may be too ripe.
MELONS ….. In cantaloupe, thick close netting on the rind indicates best quality. Cantaloupes are ripe when the stems scar is smooth and space between the netting is yellow or yellow-green. They are best to eat when fully ripe and fruity odor.
Honeydews are ripe when rind has a creamy to yellowish color and velvety texture, Immature honeydews are whitish-green
Ripe watermelons have some yellow color on one side but watermelons that are white or pale green on one side. They are not ripe.
ORANGES, GRAPEFRUITS, and LEMONS ….. Choose those heavy for their size. Smoother, thinner skins indicate more juice. Most skin markings usually do not affect qualith. Oranges with a slight greenish tinge may be just as ripe as fully colored ones. Light or greenish-yellow lemons are more tart than deep yellow ones. Avoid citrus fruits showing withered, sunken, or soft areas. Fresh Fruit & Vegetables are essential for good health.
When giving someone a gift give them a fresh fruit & vegetables basket.