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55 votes

Does the fruit label get put on a bad spot, or does the bad spot develop as a result of the label?

A few years ago I had the rare chance to take a look behind the scenes of the largest manufacturer of fruit sorting, labeling and packaging equipment in the Pacific Northwest and it was impressive to ...
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  • 53.9k
51 votes
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What kind of pickle was this?

It sounds like you may be describing a caper berry. Most folks are familiar with capers, which are the pickled or salted flower bud from the caper plant. However, if the buds are left to mature into ...
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46 votes
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What is the point of washing produce in cold water?

For the most part, rinsing produce in cold water is for the purpose of removing pesticides and soil that may contain bacteria. You're not washing off bacterial colonies - whole peel-on vegetables and ...
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  • 5,449
44 votes

What's (really) the difference between fruit and vegetables?

There is no real black and white definition of that difference, because where the line is drawn varies from crowd to crowd. Botanically speaking, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops ...
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43 votes
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Why are certain fruit & veg bought in UK supermarkets tasteless?

Non-native and out of season fruits and vegetables that are available in northern countries (e.g. UK, Canada) need to be shipped from far away and will be picked before they are naturally ripe (under ...
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37 votes

Why are certain fruit & veg bought in UK supermarkets tasteless?

In addition to Max's answer, much UK supermarket fruits and vegetables are from varieties grown to have tough skins (so they don't damage in transit), have a long shelf life (so they can be ...
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  • 815
36 votes

Why are berries so expensive?

It is a combination of many factors. To sell you one perfect apple, one perfect bunch of bananas, or one perfect half-pint of berries requires: the land to grow on workers to plant, tend, weed, and ...
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  • 10.6k
31 votes
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What was this pickled vegetable which I was served at a middle eastern restaurant?

I suspect that these will be pickled almonds. Almonds are a favorite ingredient in many middle-Eastern dishes. The green color and fuzz give it away, most other fruits like apricots and plums lack ...
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30 votes
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What is the white dust on red grapes?

This coating, which wipes right off and is indeed harmless, is called the "bloom" of the grape or sometime the "blush". As described here, (the wiki for Fermentation in winemaking), it contains trace ...
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29 votes
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How does one alter a recipe that calls for one fruit with another fruit of differing water content?

There's no trick, there's math. 100g of banana is about 75g of water (1g of water is 1ml, so easy to measure), 12g of sugar, and 13g of fiber and other stuff. A pumpkin is about 92g of water and 3 ...
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  • 66.5k
25 votes

Why does cooked fruit seem to retain more heat than the other foods in the recipe?

The same phenomenon occurs with tomato sauce on pizza, or vegetables in a casserole: the moist filling feels much, much hotter than surrounding crust or noodles. In short, this phenomenon is caused by ...
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  • 8,282
23 votes
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Can salted butter be used to make lemon curd?

Often, at least in the US, recipes will specifically call for unsalted butter, then call for salt to be added to the recipe — which causes many to scratch their heads. There are three main uses that ...
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  • 8,575
20 votes

Why are berries so expensive?

There's a variety of reasons I can imagine: They're more delicate than most other fruits, so shipping without damaging is harder. Loss due to crushing is expected. They go bad quickly, which can ...
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  • 16.2k
17 votes

What's the difference between a cobbler, crisp, crumble, buckle, and betty?

Some of the terms may be regional but they do generally describe variations on a theme. My general understanding of the differences are as follows: Cobbler - A cobbler is generally a thickened fruit ...
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  • 16.2k
17 votes
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How can I examine fruits or vegetables in a market, while minimizing mechanical damage?

The first step is to only pick up items you're likely to buy. Then you should only have to put down items that have an actual problem already. For some things you want to check for ripeness, but ...
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  • 38.3k
16 votes

What's (really) the difference between fruit and vegetables?

All of your observations are correct - both the distinguishing factors and the fact that there are foods whose belonging to a category is unclear. The reason behind this has nothing to do with ...
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  • 124k
15 votes

Why are my strawberries keeping so long?

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 ...
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  • 66.5k
15 votes

My gelatin didn't gel

As the instructions on the box say, you shouldn't put fresh pineapple (or kiwi-fruit) in the Jell-O. Apparently pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain that breaks up the gelatin into its component ...
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  • 2,056
14 votes
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Eating mangoes with skin intact

It's not about chemicals on the outside of the fruit; washing the fruit well should take care of that. Whether we eat the skin of any given fruit basically boils down to whether it a) tastes good and ...
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  • 8,765
14 votes

What's (really) the difference between fruit and vegetables?

The wikipedia article distinguishes between botanical fruits and culinary fruits. (Interestingly, both German ("Obst" vs. "Frucht") and Spanish ("Fruta" vs. "Fruto") have distinct terms for these.) ...
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  • 542
13 votes
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What is the best way to store fruit in bulk to make smoothies?

In professional smoothie/frozen youghurt/fruit shake shops, you'll usually see the fruit frozen in small pieces for easy portioning. So raspberrys and blueberrys are fine, but you'd wnat to quarter ...
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  • 10.9k
13 votes
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Why is my avocado tough and rubbery?

It's simply not ripe yet. Don't buy avocados or any other fruit and vegetable in pre-packed bags, because you cannot tell what state they are in. Buy from a local grocer whom you can trust, and ...
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  • 24.8k
12 votes

How do I ripen unripe oranges and grapefruits?

I agree with the suggestion that it is best to buy ripe citrus fruits. I respectfully disagree with the assertion that they don't ripen after picking. I stumbled across this ancient question today ...
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  • 2,946
12 votes
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Can a blood orange be half bloody?

While many pictures show them deep red (perhaps for the dramatic effect?), even orange flesh wih only some red tinge is normal. Even the wikipedia link you gave in the question states: The Moro ...
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  • 53.9k
12 votes

What was this pickled vegetable which I was served at a middle eastern restaurant?

It's probably green almonds like bob1 suggested. We eat them raw as a fruit or they can be pickled. They are called Oja in the Syrian region عوجا.
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12 votes

Can salted butter be used to make lemon curd?

Using salted butter would result in a perceivably salty curd - probably not what you want when expecting a sweet lemon curd. The general rule of thumb is to use unsalted butter for sweet dishes and ...
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  • 53.9k
12 votes

Can salted butter be used to make lemon curd?

I disagree with Stephie's answer above. I find using salted butter does not give a perceptively salty taste but instead helps to bring out the lemon flavour. A pinch of salt or salted butter is ...
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  • 2,166
11 votes

Why are certain fruit & veg bought in UK supermarkets tasteless?

You have fallen to false believe that fruits from Spain are grown on the fields. Where they are planted in soil by Jose and they go through full vegetation cycle under the Spanish sky. In fact, ...
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11 votes

What's (really) the difference between fruit and vegetables?

There's a bit of confusion here because there are two senses of the word "fruit": the botanical sense with a more precise definition (plant parts with seeds), and the common everyday culinary usage ...
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  • 57.3k
11 votes
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How can I make raisins really hard & chewy?

I think you just need to dehydrate them some more to get that effect. I assume granola and muesli tend to use drier raisins because they will keep longer, and not affect the rest of the cereal with ...
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