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55

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 see how much effort and planning goes into designing everything in a way that damage to fruit is avoided at all costs. We talked about how the business evolved ...


44

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 from the ovary of a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are all other plant parts, such as roots, leaves and stems. By those standards, seedy outgrowths such as ...


43

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 the normal sun and heat and getting nutrients from the soil). They will ripen in controlled environments (UV lights, maybe controlled atmosphere and ...


37

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 transported long distances and won't go off in the shop), and don't easily bruise / spoil. UK consumers (at least according to supermarkets) care more about cosmetic ...


36

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 pick transportation to market loss allowance for fruit that's bruised or spoils in transit loss allowance for fruit that spoils while at the store and people won'...


30

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 amounts of natural yeast, though thought to be the result of ambient yeast rather than the result of growth process proper. Here we find a more thorough answer,...


29

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 enough fuzz to be noticeable at the unripe stage and are very hard when unripe. I found a recipe with this photo: Are these are what you are after?


29

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 grams of sugar, leaving 5g of other stuff. My banana bread recipe calls for 2 medium bananas, that's about 250g of banana. That's 188g of water and about 30g ...


25

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 differing thermal properties of the materials involved. The quoted excerpts below (from PhysLink.com) provide some explanation of the physics involved, and I'...


23

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 come to my mind for salt. One is to impart a salty taste. The usage in butter is primarily a secondary one, and that is as a preservative. The third is as a ...


20

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 limit the area they can be delivered to and the method of delivery (planes are more expensive than trucks) but also gives them significantly shorter shelf life in ...


17

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 under-ripe items are more robust, so it should be possible to pick them up gently without damage and put them down again. After all, it's handled by people and ...


16

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 mixture with scone or biscuit-like top crust. Cobbler crusts, notably "Texas cobblers" can also be made with thinner batters that soak into the filling more ...


16

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 cooking and everything to do with human cognition. Humans organize the information in their world in categories, which together build "folk taxonomies". For some ...


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 ...


15

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 amino acids. You can use canned pineapple instead as the pineapple is cooked during the canning process and this denatures the bromelain.


14

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.) To quote: In culinary terminology, a fruit is usually any sweet-tasting plant part, especially a botanical fruit; a...); and a vegetable is any savory or ...


13

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 b) has a pleasant texture. For example, some people eat the skin of the kiwi, despite it having a hairy texture that many people find unpleasant. Many people do ...


13

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 strawberrys and cube mangoes or apples or kiwis or whatever before freezing them. The freezing process itself is important to the strucutral integrity of the ...


13

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 therefore can get honest answers on the state of the produce. Avocados are usually sold unripe for shipping reasons. Buy ahead of need, and let them ripen at room ...


12

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 and looked at it because I have a lot of very immature oranges that I thinned off my orange tree a few weeks ago, and I wondered what gems of wisdom might have ...


12

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 is a "deep blood orange" meaning that the flesh ranges from orange-veined with ruby coloration, to vermilion, to vivid crimson, to nearly black. The color of ...


12

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.


12

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 cakes, especially when the butter makes up a significant percentage of the whole dish. The reason why some recipes simply state “butter” is that not all locales ...


12

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 recommended in The Kitchen Magpie and Guardian perfect lemon curd. Of course, as Luciano says, if you use unsalted butter you have more control, but I don't think ...


11

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, those tasteless fruits are probably from Almeria greenhouses. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=4508 The seedlings are imported from other ...


11

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 with no precise definition (mostly sweet plant things). In a culinary sense, i.e. talking about food, among chefs or just in common speech, there is no strict ...


11

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 extra moisture. The amount of moisture left in raisins can be variable, it depends on how they're made and for what purpose - the moister ones are more ...


11

Washing fruit and vegetables in water is less an exercise in sterilisation and more a case of simply washing off any mud or debris. Soaking in still water does nothing to clean, well, anything really. Even if you sterilise the water and container, the fruit itself will still be teeming with bacteria which would be perfectly happy to multiply in stagnant ...


11

I've often wondered the same thing. Here's a video of stickers being applied to fruit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62nJzuKjUBc Since it's done mechanically, there's no way to intentionally cover up the bad spots (without spending more money than it's worth). So in other words, the bad spots under the stickers are a coincidence... unless the stickers are ...


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