Now, in my travels around fruit and veggie markets, I have to say that picking the best-looking item may be to your detriment. You may be ignoring some old-fashioned tasty produce. They are called “heirlooms” and I urge you to look into them. The best example I can give you is the fabulous tasting ox heart tomato. Sometimes this tomato is not a pretty sight. In fact, the ox heart can look nothing like a tomato should. Sometimes three tomatoes can grow together. One I saw looked as if it had small fingers popping out of it and some others I swear have had noses. They can have golden marks on them from rubbing up against each other or from hitting the dirt. But do not despair about these marks because what you are looking at can be harbouring a full-on tomato taste.
So, on your other fruit and veg, if you see dimples, odd shapes like noses on eggplants, golden lines and black spots please ask the person selling what they are. They shouldn’t be thrown out simply because they don’t meet the strict criteria that the large supermarket chains expect. A hole in a vegetable like kale or silver-beet is good as it indicates the vegetable hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides.
Please also be aware that many of the fruit and veg in the supermarkets are treated with things like wax to make them shine brightly. They are also sprayed with preservatives to give them a longer life in storage, and frozen, and they are frequently sprayed with pesticides so that they won’t be eaten as they grow. In fact, you may think I’m weird, but I celebrate the bugs that I now find on my purchases as proof that what I’m being sold is what the seller says it is.
I like buying in season. Then I have food that I can look forward to, and this way I never become bored with that I eat. Autumn is upon us so we should be looking out now for the beginning of fruits like pears, persimmons, strawberries, berries, kiwi fruit and apples. In the vegetable arena keep your eye out for beans, broccoli, chillies, Chinese cabbage, capsicum, okra and white turnip.