Archive for the Fruit & Veggie Selections Category

Tip of the Day: How to cut a Pineapple!

Posted in ASIAN COOKING 101, Fruit & Veggie Selections, Peeling on May 7, 2010 by Meals of Asia

  • Start with a ripe pineapple. When purchasing, look for nice color both in the leaves and the skin. Check for ripeness by lifting the pineapple by a single leaf (choose a leaf toward the top). If the leaf comes out, it’s ripe.
  • Try this test several times on the same pineapple. Avoid buying pineapples whose skin is easily indented, which may mean they are overripe. Also, the pineapple should have only a very light scent. A heavy scent is also a sign of overripeness.
  • Now lay your pineapple on a counter or table. If you are planning to carve the pineapple into a “boat”, turn it to find the most attractive and stable way for it to lay (will it lays flat, without tumbling over?). Also, choose the side with the best looking leaves.
  • Rotate the pineapple slightly. Using a serrated knife, begin to make a slice (no more than 1/4 of the pineapple) down along the side to remove the skin. Note: Do not cut the leaves.

Thank for sharing, Darlene!

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Tip of the Day: Mango Facts!

Posted in Fruit & Veggie Selections, MUST KNOW TIPS & TECHNIQUES!, PA NHIA'S COOKING DICTIONARY on May 5, 2010 by Meals of Asia

There more than 1,000 different varieties of mangos throughout the world. Mangos are grown in tropical and subtropical lowlands throughout the world. In Florida, mangos are grown commercially in Dade, Lee, and Palm Beach Counties. Mangoes are also grown as yard trees in warm locations along the southeastern and southwestern coastal areas.

The most popular variety of mango grown in the United States is the Hayden. The Hayden mango is produced in Florida.

Mango Nutrition

One medium sized mango provides about:

Storing Mangos

Mangos can be stored at room temperature to ripen. If the mango is unripe and is stored at room temperature, it takes about a week to ripen.

When fully ripened, mangoes will give easily to gentle pressure. Store ripe mangoes in the refrigerator. Ripe mangos will keep well keep well in the refrigerator for up to three days. If a mango feels too spongy to the touch, it is definitely overripe and very possibly spoiled. Color is not necessarily an indication of ripeness in a mango. Some varieties remain green even when they are ripe, while others turn golden or bright red or a combination.

If you need to speed up the ripening process, place the mango in a paper bag at room temperature for a few days. Test daily for ripeness.

Thank you for sharing, Mama’s Health!

Tip of the Day: How to Pick a Good Watermelon!

Posted in Fruit & Veggie Selections, MUST KNOW TIPS & TECHNIQUES! on May 4, 2010 by Meals of Asia

There’s nothing better than a sweet, juicy, perfectly ripe watermelon. However, all watermelons aren’t created equal. I’ve been disappointed with many watermelons that I’ve brought home from the supermarket or produce stand. After bringing home one too many disappointing watermelons, I decided to learn how to pick a good watermelon once and for all.

When choosing a watermelon, there are a number of characteristics that indicate how good the fruit is likely to be.

Characteristics of Good Watermelons

The first thing you need to check is the shape of the melon. A good watermelon has a symmetrical shape. It doesn’t matter if the fruit is round or oval in shape, as long as it is symmetrical.

It is also a good idea to press the skin of the watermelon in many different spots to test for firmness. Good watermelons will not have soft spots.

While looking at the exterior color of a melon isn’t sufficient to determine if a melon will be good, dark green melons tend to be sweeter than those that are lighter in color.

When you pick up the melon, pay attention to how heavy it is. Watermelons are more than 90 percent water, so the juiciest melons are going to be the ones that seem very heavy for their size.

How to Check For Ripeness

There are several different ways to tell if a watermelon is ripe.

  1. Look on the bottom of the melon. You will find a discolored spot where the melon was in contact with the ground while it was growing. If this spot is light green, the melon is not yet ripe. If the spot is a yellowish-white color, the melon is probably ripe.
  2. You can also test for ripeness by scratching the surface of a watermelon with your fingernail. A greenish-white color beneath the outermost layer of the rind indicates a ripe watermelon.
  3. You can also tell if a watermelon is ripe by thumping it, if you know what you are listening for. When you thump the side of a ripe watermelon, it will sound as if the fruit is hollow. If you hear a thud or a tone that is high in pitch, you’re dealing with a fruit that isn’t ripe.

Interesting Fact about Watermelons: Don’t buy a watermelon that you know isn’t yet ripe thinking it will be ripe by the time you eat it. Watermelons do not continue to ripen once they have been picked.

Thank you for sharing!