Yes, you can pick Farmers Market Produce like a pro
Have you ever seen someone choosing produce—sniffing, probing, and gingerly flipping things over so professionally—and asked yourself…"What do they know that I don’t know?” Here are some of their secrets:
As freshly picked corn on the cob sits unrefrigerated, its sugar converts to starch and the corn becomes less and less sweet. For the sweetest corn, buy it real early in the morning and refrigerate it ASAP.
Still green at the top? That’s actually good. Tomatoes continue to ripen after picking. As they’re ripening, store them stem end up—because they grow on a vine—they’re accustomed to that. And never (never) refrigerate tomatoes, unless you want them to lose their flavor quickly—and you don’t.
Trust your unprofessional nose. Flip a cantaloupe over gingerly and sniff the stem end. Compare several. Your nose will know the best melon by its aroma.
Unlike tomatoes, berries do not continue to ripen after picking. So select blackberries or raspberries that are apparently plump right now. Important: berries that have been ripe for a while, and maybe for too long, will be in containers with bottoms that are stained and/or moist. The container bottom should be unstained and dry. Don’t rinse off your berries until right before you’re ready to eat ‘em.
Cucumbers should be totally and lushly green everywhere. If you see any yellow, you are eyeballing a fast-aging vegetable that’s, sadly, past its prime. Pick another.
Look closely, and feel carefully, for shiny and heavy. Then grab the shiniest and heaviest one. Any wrinkles whatsoever put it back.
Caveat: long and large okra will be hardened and tough. So go for the littler one, no longer than 5 inches, for the best taste and texture.
“Shout-Out” For Farmers Markets Everywhere
For freshly picked, in season produce at the peak of its flavor and nutrition, it’s tough to beat a local farmers market. Enjoy!