Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Plum Pick

We all have our theories about how to pick out the best broccoli, pomegranates, and melons, but sometimes they just don't work and we get stuck with a week's worth of strawberries that shrivel in a day or a 5-pound dried-up watermelon. If you count yourself among this unlucky group, check out this great article on about how to select summer fruits.

Though I'd love to become the standard-bearer for evaluating produce, I've still got a lot to learn. And for that reason, I decided to pick up a copy of Aliza Green's book mentioned in the Slate article. It's a handy--and handsome--guide that covers both fruits and veggies. (And because I love it, a few more words on the design of this book. It's short and chubby and just over pocket-sized with rounded edges and a smooth-to-the-touch, colorful, matte-finish cover.) Each entry provides a general description where you can learn fascinating things about fruit. For example, did you know that cherries first originated in the Balkans but have been cultivated in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions for 2,000 years? I didn't!

In addition to fun and useless trivia, you can also learn during what months each fruit is harvested, what to look for (and what to avoid) when picking it out at the market (either farmer's or super), how best to store it, preparation instructions, and, my personal favorite, a list of some of its "flavor affinities."

Thank you Aliza Green. Never again will you see me shaking a cantaloupe or knocking on an apple. I now know what to do.

1 comment:

Err Bloc Tuck said...

Pretty confident of you to give the competition that much good press... I thought fruit-writing was way more cutthroat.