Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pineapples, mangoes, and papayas, oh my: Part 2 in the Produce Series

So lets move on to produce in the Springtime. Depending on where you live, Spring time is March-May. Spring break is usually in March but it's still cold. I don't get it. I once got caught smoking pot in my parents' garage during Spring break because it was way too cold to do it outside. If early Spring were warmer, then maybe that little mishap would have never happened and I wouldn't have gotten grounded for so long.
March is when pineapples, mangoes, and papayas are in season. Pineapples are pretty easy to tell if they're ripe, but everyone comes up with the most bizarre ways to try and check. Seriously, I once ran into a woman in the produce department who told me that she pulls the leaves off the top of the pineapple and if they come out easily, its ripe. What kind of hooey is that??! It's vandalism, not a check for ripeness, I'll tell you that. All you have to do is look to see if the outside is yellow. That's right: between all of the little brown sections, look to see if its yellow.
Yellow = ripe. Green = not ripe. And if you see someone pulling the leaves out, go kick them in the shins, and tell the manager so that they can be escorted off the premises for ruining produce.
Mangoes and papayas are like pears and peaches: they're ripe when they're soft. Stay clear of brown spots and buy it more firm if you don't plan on eating it right away. Smell is also a good helper... if it smells like a pineapple/mango/papaya, its ready to eat. I think papayas taste like feet, but that's a personal thing. I also find that it makes people incredibly uncomfortable if you stop and smell fruit while staring at them for long periods of time without blinking. I enjoy doing that very much.
Moving towards May, you get a couple of stone fruits that come into season: cherries and apricots. Stone fruits are a fancy way of describing fruits that have a hard pit in the middle of them. (More about that when we move on to summer. You'll get to learn fancy pants words like "noyeau!") Apricots should be orange, without any green on them, and are ready to eat when they're soft. Again, avoid ones with brown spots because that produce guy probably dropped it. Cherries are usually ripe when they're in the store, so you'll actually want to go for the firmer ones.
And can we talk about that saying "Life is just a bowl of cherries?" If anyone can explain how life is really like a bowl of small stone fruits, I'm interested in knowing why because I'd prefer life being more like a large platter full of barbecue sandwiches. But that's just me.

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