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46

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 fruit have a protective coating (the peel) which prevents them from growing for the most part. However, dirt particles may contain bacteria - particularly if, ...


26

tl;dr: Yes, there are significant differences ... but use them as guidelines, don't just blindly follow recipes. (Jacques Pépin agrees) Part of the size issue that Jefromi mentioned is not only growing conditions (hotter/dryer/morning sun/in a greenhouse/etc), but there are typically different varietals of things. Eggplant is one of the most significant --...


12

Martha's Vinyard Magazine suggests that the diamater of the stalks is not directly related to their age as one might suspect: Some might assume thinner spears are younger and therefore more tender. The diameter, however, has more to do with the age of the plant itself and the particular asparagus variety. They go on to cite Cook's Illustrated, saying:...


11

In general, things should be quite similar, and the biggest thing you'll have to worry about is size. There can be really drastic differences in the "normal" size of a given thing from country to country; a large onion in Egypt might be half the size of a large onion in the US. So if you can find recipes that specify actual quantities, whether weight or ...


10

It's worth noting that from a food safety perspective, washing is not about eliminating all harmful bacteria and viruses, but reducing their amount to the extent possible (in addition to removal of pesticides, debris such as dirt, etc). Many pathogens cling to things like dirt better than fruit or vegetable skin, so even in the example of raspberries, ...


6

Well, after reading the answers and comments here, I was anxious to try the fat asparagus next time I saw it in the store. Wouldn't you know it? For the next several months all I found was the normal, skinny stuff. Then lo and behold, yesterday my store had the fat asparagus again. (BTW, a US quarter has a diameter of 24.26 mm, 0.955 in.) I treated it my ...


5

Like anything else food-related it's a matter of risk. If I'm picking raspberries straight off of my bush I often eat them without washing, but if I have a lot of them from the store I wash them as I don't know what they have been exposed to in packing and transit. Many people do not do this and get away with it just fine, occasionally someone gets sick. How ...


5

You did not disclose your location, but here are some reasons: It is an opportunity taken by the producer to increase the price. They can sell the product as-is, or process it further and sell it for more (ex. whole onions vs diced onions, the diced onions will be more expensive for the same amount). Sure they need to spend a little more time fabricating it,...


4

All recipes require some amount of adaptation to your own conditions. Even if the author of the recipe lives next door to you and buys exactly the same ingredients as you, you'll need to make some adaptations because, e.g., your oven might be hotter than theirs, or your wider pan might cause things to evaporate more quickly and require more liquid to ...


3

Garlic lasts a long time, how long depends partly on variety. Hardneck varieties have fewer, bigger cloves and generally do not last as long, softnecks have more and smaller cloves and last a bit longer, but they both last a very long time. I grow garlic and I'm usually still using my last year's batch when my next is ready, so you should be able to keep ...


3

While there is certainly a difference in what is known as terrior (the environmental influences on the characteristics of a crop) for a variety of products, I doubt that this difference would impact your recipes. In other words, you would likely taste a difference if you were able to compare American garlic and Egyptian garlic side by side, but for most ...


3

Sprouting and turning green are two basically unrelated things. Sprouting means the tuber tries to form roots and grow into a new plant. It can be triggered by light, but even more so by warmth and the "internal clock" of the potato. That's the reason you are supposed to store potatoes in a cool place, ideally around 10C / 50F. And yes, the sprouts contain ...


3

Is everything graded on the same scale (with the same labels)? No. Grading is specific to every kind of fruit or vegetable, and often grading can be different depending on the form of the produce (fresh vs. canned vs. frozen vs. juice vs. headed for further processing, etc.). Also, different nomenclature is used for different produce: some use "Grade A,...


2

Tomatoes are one of the few things I use from cans, mostly because they have more flavor than the ones you usually get at the grocery store, but about 2-3 good-sized, ripe tomatoes substitute just fine for a can. The canning process includes heating the food being canned, so using fresh fruits and veggies might require more cooking to get the same effect or ...


2

When I buy hot chilies, I look for firm, uniformly bright (or dark, depending on the type) green specimens. Unless I'm in a big hurry, I pick through the pile and choose them individually. I avoid any that are soft, discolored (including the ends), missing caps (the part that attaches to the stem -- they spoil faster after this is removed), wrinkly or ...


2

I think it depends on the flavors you want to get from the asparagus: If you're looking for roasted, char-y flavors, it's pencil-thin all the way. Thick ones wouldn't be cooked through in the time it takes for the surface to be nicely charred. If you're looking for more vegetal flavors, thick ones work well, because you can boil or steam them without ...


2

Boiling can take care of any bacterial contaminants. But boiled dirt still tastes like dirt. And boiled pesticides are probably still not good for you.


2

It looks like Martha Stewart answered this question in a blog post last year. She covers berries in general. To recap: Wash them in cold water, by placing them gently in a bowl of ice cold water. Wash them promptly before cooking, so that the excess moisture doesn't stick around and cause the berries to rot. https://www.marthastewart.com/1539188/washing-...


2

For skin thickness: thick-skinned lemons have a specific appearance. They are larger, their pores are frequently larger, and their skin is somewhat lumpy. Pay attention to these criteria before and after you cut a lemon, and you will soon learn to recognize the difference between the very thick skinned lemons and the thin skinned ones. As for the bitterness, ...


2

For thin-skinned, you can try pressing the lemon, they are thin-skinned if you can kinda feel the lemon flesh. While if it is thick-skinned it will be very hard to press. (i mean press in a way not to destroy the lemon). Generally, the deeper the yellow color, the less sour the lemon is, as it is riper. So if there is any pale yellow or green, then it is not ...


2

I personally am using balsamic vinegar and dish soap. Because I have so many tomatoes and peppers all at once they are laying on the counter so I have put this into tiny plastic bowls (2-3 in diameter from the dollar store) and placed them among the fruit. So far it seems to help. There are still a few but nothing like it was.


1

Washing the dirt or store bought tomatoes is a must. When blanching them they won't have contaminants being absorbed.


1

I always rinse off vegetables before using them , even when blanching them. In the case of tomatoes, I rinse them off, or more precisely, I give them a water bath and brush off dirt and cut away bad parts before blanching them. Is it worth it? probably not; but I am more certain they are clean.


1

America ships produce 3,000 miles. This cuts weight in the truck by removing the tops. They can ship more. The tops are used for cattle feed. Unlike Asia. Were you buy at the wet market produce raised less than 20 miles away. America uses celery seed as a spice. Asia the leaves. Americans don't have a pig to feed scrap to on there street or yard. They can ...


1

It totally depends what you are doing with it. My use cases for different thicknesses: Thin - steam, boil or fry and serve whole as-is. Medium - Chop into chunks, and stir fry Thick - Soups, purees etc.


1

This is a trick I've learned since I home-brew kombucha- same method of keeping flies out. Get a larger bowl or a pot and put the fruit in gently. Then throw a kitchen towel over the top and secure with a couple tight rubber bands around the top of the pot/bowl. Make sure no fruit flies are on the fruit when the rubber band is secured. This should keep them ...


1

Signs that a chili is going past its prime: Darkening of seeds: Peppers (in general) have white-creamy colored seeds if they're fresh. If they start to darken, you want to use the pepper sooner, rather than later. Softening of the outer body: Peppers (in general) have a firm outer body & skin. If you poke them, and it leaves a dent, you want to use ...


1

According to Cargo Handbook (emphasis added): Broccoli is not sensitive to chilling temperatures and should be stored as cold as possible without freezing. When freezing injured, thawed buds will be very dark and translucent, and can later turn brown or may serve as sites for development of bacterial decay. Note that they are describing how to store and ...


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