Tip: Store peaches upside down
Peaches are very sensitive and bruise very easily, so to avoid them rolling, bumping, and squishing the ripe flesh, store them at room temperature, stem end down! Once they’re very ripe, the stem side will ultimately bruise as well, but honestly, who is going to let these tasty fruits sit that long before enjoying!
Unripe peaches should be placed in a paper bag for a day or two out of direct sunlight. Ripe peaches should be enjoyed right away or stored in the crisper of your fridge
Tip: Choose a firm, symmetrical melon without cracks or soft spots
Watermelon are in their peak in Ontario July to September. When people are picking out a melon, you’ll see them hold it, tapping or thumping on the rind. Experts say that the “thump” test is unreliable for determining ripeness in a melon. When selecting a watermelon, look for a pale yellow patch which indicated where it sat on the ground while ripening. Choose a firm, symmetrical, unblemished melon with a dull rind, without cracks or soft spots, that barely yields to pressure.
Recipe: Watermelon Margaritas
Tip: feel for plums that yield slightly to the touch; but don’t squeeze them
Shop for plums with good colour and a full, smooth, relatively heavy feel. They should yield to gentle pressure, especially at the end opposite the stem. Ripen plums at room temperature out of direct sunlight or in a loosely closed brown paper bag. Ripe plums should be refrigerated and eaten as soon as possible. After the plum is picked, the sugar level remains the same, but the acidity falls, so it only seems sweeter.
Recipe: Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce
Tip: Look for fairly firm, sweet-smelling berries, loosely covered, in the refrigerator
Double check your berries to see there are no signs of mould or mildew and no crushed berries in the box. Store them in the refrigerator, loosely covered, and try to use the berries within two weeks, but preferably as soon as possible. For optimum flavour, bring refrigerated blueberries to room temperature before serving. Blueberries also freeze well whole, in a a single layer – in the same way you freeze raspberries and strawberries.
Recipe: Gingered Blueberry Shortcake