The Cooking Runner

Fresh fruit in the winter in Michigan?…um sure….

on January 11, 2013

Miles run this month: 20.8 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1992.7 miles

I did another 4 miler, without the wind!!!! I did however, sweat like a man. With 80% humidity, apparently it doesn’t matter how cold (37*) it is outside… Humidity makes me sweat.

Last night the hubs and I were having a conversation about our food origin and how healthy the fresh foods really are. I looked in our fridge to see where our food came from.

 Blueberries were from Chili… very large and plump but slightly bland…looked amazing

Strawberries were from Florida… average size, bright red and to die for sweetness… looked amazing

Mineolas only had a USA sticker on them… super juicy and you could smell the goodness from the outside before peeling them

Granny Smith apples only had a USA sticker on them… juicy, tart, as if they were picked right from the tree

Grapefruit were from Texas… horrible- this fruit is suppose to be “in season” they are half green, small, and do not smell citrus at all. BUT they pack them in a red tinted plastic bad to make them look amazing… I was fooled when I bought them. They also have a white powder on them…not sure what that is. My FIL, a fruit grower said it was most likely pesticides.

All of our vegetables are from the USA, reason #53,467 why I love Meijer. The cilantro and avocados are from Mexico.

Of course I start to worry about fresh food in the winter, in Michigan, when the growing season is a few month out yet! So I did some research. I am aware that the produce is picked well before it is ripe. They do this to prevent over ripening and loosing product en route. A lot of produce just doesn’t ripen off the tree or plant.

How do you tell if produce is ripe when purchasing?

1. Color can say “I am ripe” but not always… bananas, apples, tomatoes, red berries, cherries—color change is an excellent indication of ripeness.

2. Smell the fruit. If you can smell it through the skin, it is a good thing!!!…Sniff the blossom end of the fruit (the end opposite the stem) and only select fruit that has a full, fruity aroma.

3. Feel the fruit… Avocados are a great example. You do not want to buy a soft avocado! You should pick fruit that are on the firm side but not too firm…squeeze stone fruit, pears, kiwis, and avocados. This doesn’t work well with melons or pineapples, but even with these rough-coated fruits, a little give is a good sign.

The chart below was created by by food writer Jeffrey Steingartenfc028co22-01_med

*some information taken from finecooking.com

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