Pursuing the best flavor
I have high expectations for my fruits and vegetables: they should taste as good as they look. I know, that's asking a lot! I have zero patience for great looking produce that tastes bland.
My expectations got even higher when I started gardening over a decade ago. Nothing beats the flavor of well-selected varieties, harvested at their peak ripeness from your backyard.
I've made it my mid-life mission to figure out the most reliable ways to buy good-tasting fruits & vegetables in-season from farmers markets as well as grocery stores.
I've spent years and years digging through research papers, interviewing experts, and diving down internet rabbit holes to search for answers. I've even taken agriculture classes at UCLA to expand my knowledge base.
The produce guides share the information I've gathered. Each month lists the produce currently available, and then each fruit & veggie gets their own page with information on how to pick the best ones, how to store them, and other tips, like how to tame bitter cucumbers.
I also include recipes from some great bloggers. I don't specialize in recipe development - most of my focus is researching the ingredients themselves.
It's an ongoing process too. For example, I started adding in pictures to show how to pick a ripe piece of fruit, like peaches. I'm also adding produce guides for fruits & vegetables that are available year-round (since I only have seasonal ones right now).
Do I still buy bright red strawberries only to be disappointed by their lackluster flavor when I get home? Yep. Don't get me started on tomatoes either. Despite using every trick in the book, sometimes Mother Nature has a different plan that farmers can't do anything about.
When that happens, I have ways to enhance the flavor of that bland piece of fruit or vegetable (a full article on this coming soon!)
What kind of recipes will you find?
I cook healthy, well-rounded meals, with seasonal ingredients 90% of the time. I use produce from my own garden when I can in summer, but that's only half of my summer meals (at best). So like everyone else, I'm examining produce at farmers markets and grocery stores, wondering if it's going to taste as good as I want it to.
The recipes found in the produce guides are mostly from other bloggers. That way I can share my favorite recipe sources with you, since there are so many talented people out there.