Ask a Cook: Let your nose help you pick the best fruit

The Charlotte Observer

Q: I’ve been disappointed twice by strawberries I’ve bought this summer, both at a farm and a farmers market. Is it just me?

A: The quality of fruit depends on so many things. A year with a lot of rain can mean the fruit is too juicy and gets soft too soon. A cooler year may mean less strong sunshine to develop the sweetness.

You can’t change the weather, but you can use a trick chefs use: Always give fresh fruit a good sniff. Chefs like to say “It will smell like it eats,” and that’s very true with fruit. If it smells sweet and fresh, it should taste the same.

Otherwise, try a recipe that involves adding a little simple syrup or stirring some jam and lemon juice into a sauce. That will help bland fruit.

Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service


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