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68

It's caused by the high amount of potassium in the banana. Microwaves react with metals, bouncing off and cause arcing. You can even create a cool light show by putting a raw peeled banana in the microwave. Don't worry, it won't explode, but it will make a mess, it's also harmless. This can also happen in some frozen vegetables depending on the soil ...


23

No, the mold on meat isn't especially bad. It won't eat your insides. But still, moldy meat is worse than moldy plants. Mold itself isn't a strong health concern. It can't cause an illness, and doesn't grow in the human stomach. There are some kinds which produce metabolic byproducts poisonous for humans, and this means that you shouldn't eat moldy food, ...


22

I don't believe there is a fool-proof way to determine 'ripeness' without taking a slice out of it. The best you can do is look for certain signs: Ripe melons have a hollow sound when you tap or slap the outside Look for the patch where the melon would have been on the ground (called the field spot). If it's a yellow colour its probably ripe, if it's ...


18

The very thin outside layer of the Lime, Lemon, Orange, and other citrus. It contains aromatic and flavorful oils that will enhance your meals. When you zest your citrus fruit (usually with a fine grater) you need make sure that you only pull off the zest and not the white pith that lies underneath. The pith is bitter and generally not something you want in ...


17

You don't. Citrus fruits, unlike most other fruits, do not ripen after being picked from the tree. The only solution is to be proactive and not buy unripe citrus.


16

The ideal tool depends on what you're trying to do with it. If you want something nice and fine, which will release as much flavor as possible, avoid getting any of the pith, and not add distracting texture to a dish, use a fine rasp grater (sometimes known by the brand name microplane): (There are also coarse rasp graters. That won't be any better than ...


16

Dust the fruit with a little flour before adding to the cake. It will act like a glue and prevent the fruit from sinking.


15

The crisper provides a somewhat enclosed environment, which prevents moisture from escaping as rapidly. Vegetables keep best at a certain humidity, higher than that typically found in the rest of the fridge, but not so high that condensation starts accumulating on them. Vegetables kept in too-dry air in the rest of the fridge will tend to dry out and shrivel ...


15

Most commercial fruit is picked before being completely ripened because once it is ripened it has a very limited shelf life, and strawberries are no exception. Strawberries ripen from the tip to the stem and a good indicator that a strawberry is unripe is a white ring around the stem area. Some fruits can be artificially ripened by exposing them to ...


14

This may also be related to the dielectric antenna effects that cause grapes to spark in a microwave : I found that single grapes would eject steam out of the stem hole forming little rocket engines which often propelled the grapes about the oven. If the stem was left in the grape, so that the steam could not escape, the grape skin would quickly rupture ...


14

I think you've got this mostly backwards. The reason not to store bananas with other fruit is that the ripening bananas emit a lot of ethylene gas and will cause the other fruit to spoil more quickly. You can also use this to your advantage: got a pear that you want to ripen quicker? Put it in a paper bag with ripe bananas overnight. Other fruit emits ...


13

Some quick research indicates there are enzymes in freshly-squeezed juice that will degrade it fairly rapidly, and that they can be deactivated by heat. Of course, that also changes the flavor (especially since you're not going to be able to quickly heat and cool it, as it apparently only takes 30 seconds, but any method doable in a home kitchen will keep it ...


12

Probably the easiest way to do it is to just gently pour the blackberries into a basket strainer, then lower the strainer into a bowl of water. Then you can just lift the strainer out and the berries will come with it, no fishing required.


12

I look for a few things... Colour: There are many different varieties of mangos. Some go from green to red, some end up Orange, some start off yellow and end up orange. So once you're familiar with the type of mango you're buying, you can get an idea of what a ripe one looks like. Smell: A ripe mango will smell sweet. Check near the stem end, the smell ...


12

Don't eat it as-is. It contains cyanide. Bitter almonds are the definitely poisonous thing you've probably heard of; they contain enough cyanide that just a few could kill a small child (according to On Food and Cooking). The poison is released when the kernels are broken, as defensive mechanism. The variety we eat is a "sweet" safe version which doesn't ...


11

Um, no. You can even buy them. The only common potentially dangerous seeds I know of belong to almonds, apples, apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, and other stone fruits. These contain a cyanide and sugar compound known as amygdalin. When metabolized it breaks down into hydrogen cyanide (HCN). In all cases the toxin is inside the seeds and will not be ...


11

Anything that outgasses ethylene should be kept away from other items (both fruits and vegetables), in a well-ventelated area, if possible. Apples and bananas are the two most common culprits, but the list is much longer. Subzero has a list of etylene producers and ethylene sensitive items, which I'm reproducing below in case of link rot: Ethylene ...


10

As pulse said, colour is a good indicator and give them a tap and they'll have a nice hollow sound. The other thing I do is pick them up... I don't know why, but ripe melons tend to feel "heavy" for their size.


10

Usually I cut a peach in half, put a bit of salt and honey on the non skinned end, and grill it (cavity down) for a minute or two then rotate it to get good grill marks. I then add a scoop of ice cream in the cavity and sprinkle with cut fresh mint. Another fruit I like grilled are apricots, although really put them on for 20 seconds or so. My rule of ...


10

I keep a list on my fridge from the June 2009 issue of Cooking Light magazine. (p. 45) Here's the details: Keep these in the fridge: Artichokes Asparagus Beans Beets Berries Broccoli Cabbage Carrots Cauliflower Celery (which will last longer if you keep it wrapped in aluminum foil) Cherries Corn Cucumbers Figs Grapes Green onions (scallions) Leafy greens ...


10

You get mold (and less visibly, bacteria) growth after 4-5 days because your water (humidity) content left in the deyhdrated food is greater than 5%. Typically dried apples (and other types of fiberous dried fruit) have humidity levels closer to 20% when you don't dry them to a crisp. That means the treats you make aren't shelf stable, but luckily this can ...


9

Cantaloupe should feel heavier than it looks and smell musky and sweet. Also you should be able to press your thumb in slightly on the bottom and there shouldn't be a lip around the stem. If it smells over-sweet it's most likely over ripe. You can let a cantaloupe ripen on your counter top if you get one under-ripe


9

Pineapple softens, but not sweeten on shelf ripening. Fruit ripening is usually due to exposure of unsaturated hydrocarbons e.g. ethylene. This phenomenon occurs in fruit known as "climacteric fruits". Well known examples are banana, avocado, tomato, apple, pear, kiwi, to name a few. Pineapple is not a kind of climacteric fruit. However, ethylene exposure ...


9

The general things that can cause icy sorbet: Too much water Compared to other ingredients. Since you probably aren't going to take water out of your fruit, you pretty much have to add sugar or alcohol to compensate for this. This is tricky if you're improvising, and if the water content of the fruit varies. Bad churning/freezing: This is mostly determined ...


9

Fruits that are high in pectin are not necessarily sour and sour fruits are not necessarily high in pectin. However, pectin is typically found in high concentrations in firm fleshed fruit such as apples and in the skins of citrus. Unripe fruit has even more than the ripe. So- I can see why you would come to that conclusion. It is easy enough to find charts ...


9

Most avocado's are the Hass variety, which will go very dark when ripe It look like you have bought a Reed or maybe Gwen variety. They are perfectly fine. Their skin colour will not significantly change as they ripen, so to check, gently squeeze near the point, and if it is soft it is ripe. If not a few days by the window at room temperature will fix it


8

One of my favorite topics, having grown up close to two apple orchards... Most likely, by "quick-cooking," the recipe intends you to use a pie or sauce apple, i.e. one that softens readily with heat. Sauce apples. Use these for a pie if you like VERY soft pie contents. Personally, I prefer applesauce that has some chunks in it, so I don't use "sauce ...


8

As for fruits (including, for example, tomatoes), ethylene gas is released by fruits and causes them to ripen. You can buy "produce bags" that absorb ethylene gas, and slow the process of ripening. (Some fridges have drawers that absorb ethylene gas, but I doubt you feel like buying a new fridge.) Update: See Vicky's answer and my comment for a couple links ...


8

I went to the farmers' market last week and bought a variety of apples. After cooking, here's the order from softest to firmest: McIntosh, Cortland, Winesap, Yellow Delicious. The McIntosh of course practically dissolve. If you want to make quick apple sauce, or if you like really squishy pie, they're the best. I typically prefer Cortlands for pie, b/c ...



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