Over the Weekend, Fresh from the Farm

Over the Weekend I paid a special visit to one of my favorite spots in Washington, D.C., Eastern Market. Ever since moving to the district I have been going to Eastern Market on the weekends for fresh from the farm produce. I feel like I'm back in the south, walking the streets of my local farmers market. It brings back memories of when I was a child, going to pick up fresh peaches, cucumbers and melons with my mother. So Eastern Market has been a great reminder of home, while also providing me with fresh and healthy produce all summer long.

Sometimes it can be hard to find the "freshest" or "ripest" fruit or veggies. There are many tips and tricks that my mother taught me when it comes to picking out the freshest produce. So I decided to pull my mom in to help me with this post and have her give some advice on how to "pick your produce."

Corn on the Cob
When choosing corn, pull back the husks to look at the kernels. They should look full and not dented.
If dented, the corn is old so you should pass.
You can also tell by poking a fingernail into a kernel, and if it's full of white juice, it's fresh!
(Mom's Tip: If you're boiling your corn, add some sugar to the water and it'll bring the sweetness of the corn back out! Trust me, it makes a huge difference)

Tomatoes should have no bruises or bad spots on them.
Depending on when you plan to use them determines the "firmness" of the tomato.
The softer, the sooner they're ready to eat.
(Mom's Tip: Do NOT store them in the fridge. Leave on kitchen counter to continue ripening.)

Cucumbers should always feel firm, never soft.
If it feels squishy, it's probably full of water and will not make for the tastiest cucumber.
Make sure there aren't any black spots.

Okra should be sturdy with ZERO black spots. Black spots show it's rotten and they won't cook well.

Once again, depends on how quick you plan to eat them.
The softer the peach, the quicker you can eat!
(Mom's Tip: NEVER store peaches in the fridge. Lay a kitchen towel out on the counter and place the peaches on the towel, not touching, and let them ripen on their own to the softness that you prefer)

When it comes to berries, it really is all about taste. Some produce stands will have berries for you to taste test. The freshest berries also depend on what season it is. While you can find most berries in your  local grocery store year round, the selection at your summer farmer's market will be determined by season.

Hope my momma's tips will help you pick the freshest produce this summer. Have a question about other types of produce not listed? Comment below and I'll have Momma Suze reply!

Stay tuned later this week for my mother's Blackberry Cobbler recipe, made from the berries I picked up at Eastern Market this past weekend.

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