Jul 1, 2010

Selecting Produce

Buy in season to enjoy the best of Utah produce.
The following are a few of the vegetables and fruits that will be in season in Utah this summer. When choosing produce, you generally want to look for vegetables or fruits with smooth, shiny skin. The growing season is flexible so always keep a look-out for fresh produce. Here are some you can expect:


Blueberries: Look for berries that follow the name: blue, not red or green. Blueberries should be firm and dry, not mushy. However, a slight white sheen is natural.

Strawberries: Ripe strawberries will have two colors: red and green. Pick firm, red berries with fresh green tops.

Beets: A beet should be firm and have fresh stems. Avoid beets with hairy taproots or wilted leaves.

Cabbage: Weigh a cabbage head in your hands - a ripe cabbage should feel heavy for its size.

Carrots: Choose carrots with firm, smooth, bright orange skin.

Corn: Look for bright green husks with moist silk. It's also good to be safe and pull back the husk a little to make sure the kernels aren't dried out.

Cucumbers: Look for cucumbers that are completely green, without any yellow skin. They should be firm to the touch.

Lettuce: Steer clear of slimy or wilted lettuce leaves. The leaves should be fresh and crisp. Just envision a perfect salad and choose a head of lettuce that matches.


Apples: Look for richly colored apples (dark reds and greens). When you hold the apple in your hands, it should be heavy for its size and have taut, shiny skin.

Apricots: Ripe apricots should be slightly soft, but not mushy. When you smell around the stem, it should have a fragrant citrus smell.

Eggplant: When choosing an eggplant, lightly press your finger into the skin. If it gives a little but bounces back, the eggplant should be ripe. Also look for smooth, shiny skin. With regards to taste, smaller eggplants tend to be less bitter.

Peppers: Look for brightly colored peppers with smooth skin. They should also feel slightly heavy for their size.

Summer Squash: Choose a firm squash without any soft spots. The skin of the squash should be smooth and taut.

Tomatoes: Use your nose with tomatoes. Smell the stem end and choose tomatoes that have a fragrant, somewhat earthy smell. The skin should also be smooth and unwrinkled.

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