Produce Pointers

The fine people at USA Pears have given us all a gift: this awesome guide to selecting and storing produce. As you’ll see, it’s quite comprehensive. For example, what the heck is celtuce?

Celtuce. Photo courtesy of FoodSubs.comBuying fruits and vegetables at the right stage of ripeness is crucial for avoiding waste. We’ve all had that avocado ripen before you were planning to use it and vice versa.

And proper storage, obviously, is huge. Just ask my vacuum-sealed green beans.

To give you an idea of what the guide contains, here’s a pared-down version of the pear entry:

Pears will ripen after they harvested….Pears other than Bartletts do not dramatically change color as they ripen. Test for ripeness by pressing gently near the stem, if it gives to gentle pressure it is sweet juicy and ready to eat.

Because pears ripen from the inside out, ripe fruit will give gently to gentle pressure near the stem. Waiting until pears are soft around the middle may indicate over ripeness.

Store unripe pears in a warm place outside of the refrigerator in a fruit bowl or in a paper bag. Check daily for ripeness. Store ripe pears in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

Pears are an ethylene producer. Avoid long term storage next to ethylene sensitive produce. Pears produce odors which may be absorbed by cabbage, carrots, celery, onions and potatoes. Pears may also absorb odors produced by onions and potatoes. Take care not to store pears next to these items.

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