Experience is the best guide for choosing quality, but here are some tips for buying certain types of vegetables.
ASPARAGUS ….. The grass will be soft and strong, the tips will be closed and compact, select the stem and small white … they are more tender. Use your asparagus shortly before you buy it…they harden quickly.
BEANS, SNAP…..Those with little beans inside are the best. Avoid beans with dry pods.
BROCCI, BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND CAULIFLOWER….. Flower clusters on broccoli and cauliflower should be strong and close. Brussels sprouts should be hard and compact, dirty, spots can indicate insects.
CABBAGE and HEAD LETTUCE..
…Choose heads heavy for size, avoid cabbage with worm holes and lettuce with discolored or soft rot. CUCUMBERS…..Choose thin cucumbers for best quality. May be dark green or semi-green, but purple is not good. PEAS AND PEAS…..Choose pods that are full but not leaking, avoid pods that are dry, shiny, yellow or melting.
Root Vegetables….. Must be smooth and moldy, large carrots may have woody cores, large radishes may be chewy, large turnips, beets and parsnips may be woody, fresh carrots usually appear A new carrot, but the condition of the book. in many other root vegetables do not show freshness. TASTE…Puerto Rico and Nancy Hall style…with a golden or pink skin…tender and sweet when cooked. Jersey-like yellow to brown varieties are hardier in low water. BERRIES…..Choose plump, firm berries with good color. Avoid containers with stains that show water or leaks. Tomatoes like blackberries, raspberries with sticky caps may not ripen. Strawberries without a cap can be very bright. MELONS…..In cantaloupe, large, firm fillets and flesh show the best quality. Cantaloupes are ripe when the wound is soft and the space between the fillets is yellow or yellow-green. They are best eaten when they are ripe and fragrant.
Honey weed blooms when the fur is creamy yellow and velvety in texture. Immature honey plants are green and white.
Ripe fruits are yellow on one side, but watermelons are white or green on one side. They haven’t grown yet.
Oranges, grapefruits and lemons…..Choose ones that are heavy for their size. Softer, smoother skin shows more juice. Most skin tags do not affect quality. Green oranges can be as bright as a fully colored orange. Yellow or green lemons are more tart than yellow lemons. Avoid citrus fruits that have dry, damaged or soft spots. Fresh fruits and vegetables are important for good health.