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 hold a Masters from the University of Illinois, obtained ages ago (in the early aughts!)
But I've spent recent years digging through research papers from universities across the country like UC-Davis, UC-Riverside, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, UMN-Twin Cities, Michigan State, Purdue, Kansas State, Texas A&M, and more - often reaching out to their faculty for further information and clarifications.
I've also recently taken agriculture classes at UCLA to further build on my knowledge base. I also reach out to agricultural experts who've pioneered new technologies to understand their effects.
Then I distill this down into useful guides that are easy to read. Hundreds of pages of reading my result in a mere paragraph or two!
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.
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, there are still good uses (like in a jam with added sugar or herbs for flavor, etc).
What kind of recipes will you find?
I share my own recipes, which are admittedly few in number. Most of my focus is spent researching produce and the ingredients, so I have less time for recipe development.
But that's okay because there are a massive number of bloggers who publish exceptional recipes. Not surprisingly, I've researched those bloggers and their recipes so I could share them with you.
You'll find over 50 recipes for each fruit & vegetable on most of their guides.