Semi-inspired by the “medium” onion thread.
When attempting to grocery shop or cook with my husband, I am often struck by how much he doesn’t know that seems so obvious to me. Clearly I learned a lot from my mother (and Julia Child) when I was a wee lassie, but I thought it would be nice to share some of this stuff and maybe get a few tricks I don’t know yet.
Choosing produce is an important first step, as the quality of what you take home obviously affects the end result. Besides simply choosing the most cosmetically pleasing item, here’s one of my top tips:
Choose the heaviest one relative to its size. Whether it be a cabbage, an artichoke, a head of garlic, or a melon, the heavier it is, the better quality you’ll generally find it to be.
Onions: Squeeze them gently and only buy the onions that feel hard. Cut an onion by slicing in half lengthwise (stem to roots), then lay each half on its flat side to slice.
Apple-pears: look for a heavy one with a golden “glow” to it - don’t squeeze too hard as these are naturally easily bruised.
Apples: Stay away from the gigantic ones. The smaller ones usually taste better. Same goes for tomatoes.
Avocados: press gently on the tip where the stem has been cut, if it gives slightly, it’s probably good. If it doesn’t move, it’s not ripe yet, and if it sinks in quickly, it’s probably over-ripe.
Test to see if an artichoke is done cooking by sticking a knife or toothpick about an inch up into the base. If it goes in easily, it’s done. If it meets resistance, it’s not done yet.
So that’s what I got for now. Please contribute your knowledge, especially if you have actually witnessed someone screwing it up!