As wonderful as it would be if we could always have our own fresh-grown produce, that just not a possibility for the vast majority of people I know. We have limited time, space, resources and seasonal cooperation. So, for those times when you have to go to the grocery store, here are a few tips on how to pick the best produce.
How to Pick Produce:
Bell peppers: Firmly (yet gently) rub your finger on the pepper. If the skin stays taught, then you have a winner. If it wrinkles, then it's probably a little older then you want.
Pineapples: Take a hold of one of the leaves and give it a tug. If it comes out with minimal resistance, then get it in your cart.
Watermelon: I used to always look for the most picturesque and symmetrical watermelon I could find, and I might try knocking on it, not really knowing what I was listening for. Then I learned to go for the ugly ones: look for bee stings (speckley brownish spots) a sun-bleached side and a flat spot.
Celery: Give it a sniff. The less celery-ish it smells, the better. Odorless is best.
Grapes: Give them a little squeeze. They should be hard. Really hard. I'm talking no give. And try it on several.
Oranges: The heavier it is, the juicier it will be; the juicier it is, the taster it will be.
Hopefully that'll get you started. If you know any other produce-picking tricks, please share in the comments; I'd love to hear them!