Fresh Food Tips to Add Flavor

Eating fresh food saves money and wakes up your taste buds. Buying fresh and buying local adds flavor and freshness to your table.

| June 26, 2009

Eating foods that are fresh and in-season can add a great deal of flavor to any dish. It can also be easier on the pocketbook and help the environment, all at the same time. The problem is that most people don’t know what foods are in season, because they are used to finding whatever they want, year-round in grocery stores.

“You may be able to go to the market today and buy many foods year-round, but that is only because they have often traveled thousands of miles to get to you,” says John Kuropatwa, executive chef of Spigola Ristorante, Hamilton Township, New Jersey. “Sticking with foods that are in-season here – and local, if possible – is better, all the way around. You just need to know what foods are in season and how to pick them out.”

Here are some tips on what’s in season, and how to select and store it:

● Asparagus – Select stalks that are not dry, closed or soggy. Smaller stems are more tender, while larger ones are bolder. To keep them fresh, wrap a moist paper towel around the stems. Then place them in the refrigerator by letting them stand upright in two inches of water.

●·Summer squash – Look for squash that are unblemished and feel heavy for their size, while avoiding those with rinds that are hard. Store squash unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

●·Sweet cherries – They should be bright, shiny, clean and free of blemishes. Those with stems intact will last longer. Store them unwashed in the refrigerator.

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