Not everyone is lucky to pick their own produce. Sometimes I am lucky to have a bag from my parents, but normally I buy all of my fruit and veggies from farmer's markets, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. A few tricks on how to shop for great produce....
- Always look in season. Asparagus aren't going to be good in summer, fall & winter. Strawberries should be avoided in fall & winter. Yes, the grocery store might have them, but they are going to be more expensive and flavorless. This and this are both good sources to find out what is in season.
- Build what you want to make around what is in season. I shop for produce first, other items second. That way, I don't come home with pounds of squash and nothing to do with it.
- Find your local farmer's market. This is the best way to ensure produce that is closer to vine ripened as opposed to picked green and trucked. My favorite market is the Santa Monica farmer's markets.
- Stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods have great produce sections if you can't make it to the farmer's market. Avoid the supermarket - life is too short to eat mealy, bad fruit.
- Don't buy more than you can realistically use in a week. I usually take no more than $15 cash to the farmer's market to limit myself from overbuying.
With fall around the corner, I caught a glimpse of the ripening persimmons at my parent's house this past weekend. It is still very early for persimmons but then again LA weather can't make up its mind - 115 last week, 60 this weekend (with rain) and 80 today! The plants are confused but lush and gorgeous nonetheless....