Some fresh produce can be tricky to buy – especially when you can’t see what’s on the inside. Here’s how to get it right every time. BY LIM TSIAO HUI
OUR EXPERT TAI SENG YEE,executive director of ZENXIN Agri-organic Food
Look for one that’s small and heavy,while indicates that it’s fresh, juicy and has more layers.
Look for a dry and papery skin that is intact and free of black patches. Check that the tops have not sprouted,which could point to old stock and moisture exposure.
Look for a plump and voluptuous gourd with shallow grooves. These are signs that it is mature and at its most flavorful.
Look for bright and shiny skin.with no black spots. However ,the only way to gauge the intensity of the flavour is to break off a knob and smell it.
- Cauliflower and broccoli
Look for tight,firm and fresh-smelling florets. Give it a sniff- there should be no hint of decaying odour.
- Lay’s fingers
Look for dark green ones with no brown or black patches. Choose small ones if you’ll be steaming or stir-frying them-they are more tender,but more gooey. Larger ones are older and tougher,and are better for stews and curries.
- Sweet potatoes
Look for small ones,which are sweeter and have a more intense flavour. The skin should be free of coin-sized black marks,which may indicate that the sweet potatoes have been farmed in soil that’s too wet (from too much rain)-the flesh is likely to turn black when cut.
Look for firm and green stalks, especially at the ends. As the tips are the first to turn bad,check that they are compact and not decayed.
If it ain’t heavy, it ain’t juicy
As a rule of thumb,choose produce like melons,gourds and corn that are heavy for their size-light ones could have lost their moisture and may be less fresh.