The prettiest peach or apple isn’t always the tastiest. And size has nothing to do with flavor. More often than naught, the smaller a zucchini or green bean, the sweeter it is. Layered veggies like
onions and garlic should be very firm with dry, flaky layers on the outside.
Avoid anything bruised, wilted, off-color, or just plain dull-looking. Your fruits and veggies should look like they are bursting with personality, and the darker the colors the better. There’s a whole encyclopedia to produce picking!
Here are a few specific things to look/feel for amongst commonly purchased produce:
Apples: Don’t buy apples that are bruised or shriveled. This seems obvious, but take a good hard look the next time you pick one up.
Asparagus: Choose fresh asparagus that don’t feel woody at the end of the stalk and that have tight scales on the tip.
Avocados: Press lightly with your thumb on the rind at the stem end. If it is just a little soft, it is ripe and ready. If the rind is hard and has sunken spots, pass it on by.
Beans: Buy crisp beans – you should be able to hear them snap if you bend them. Bumpy beans will be tough.
Bananas: Those perfectly yellow bananas at the market go bad too quickly. Partially green at the stalk will ripen well at room temperature.
Broccoli: You want your broccoli buds tight and dark green with firm stems.
Citrus Fruit: The heavier, the juicier. Choose fruit with thin, smooth, flexible peels.
Peppers – You’re looking for bright colors and waxy skins that are firm to the touch. Anything soft means old.