How to Select the Best Produce
You know what you want to cook and what ingredients you need to stock up on. Now you’re ready to must pick out the best quality ingredients. If you find it challenging to select the freshest fruits and veggies, here are a few quick tips that canto help guide you in the right direction:
1. Know what is in season
The best produce will be the fruits and vegetables that were grown and harvested at the right time of the year. Seasonal produce will be fresher, contain more nutrients, and will taste better. You can do a quick internet search of seasonal produce or recipes to get you started. Another benefit to buying seasonally is that you save money. Seasonal produce is in abundance and is often on sale!
2. Buy locally
When produce is grown locally it doesn’t sit for days or weeks before being transported to your location. This increases the likelihood that your produce is fresh and reduces the environmental impact of your purchase.
3. Use your senses
a. Fruits and vegetables have adapted smells and colors to make them more appetizing when they are in season. Use your instincts. If a product looks wilted or dull in color, it may not be the freshest or best selection. Instead, look for vibrant colors, sweet smells, appropriate textures associated with each selection, and if you still aren’t sure what you should be looking for, simply Google it!
4. Go to a farmer’s market or local farm
a. Visiting a farmer’s market can help take the guessing game out of making fresh selections. Most of the farmers are local, only sell what is in season, and they know everything about their produce, including how the food was grown and harvested. Speaking with the growers directly will ensure you pick the best and freshest produce for your needs.
We hope these tips help you the next time you are searching for ingredients for your dish. Executive Chef Steven Ontiveros only the finest ingredients and you can too! If you need inspiration, check out our farm to table menus!