7 Ways to Choose Food Ingredients Like A Pro

7 Ways to Choose Food Ingredients Like A Pro

You don’t need a chef to tell you that the best quality ingredients are essential to your cooking. That’s why it’s important to know the basics of choosing the freshest produce such as vegetables, fruits, meats and so on when you’re shopping. Here are our 7 tips to remember when you’re picking out foods to bring home :

1. Vegetables

7 Ways to Choose Food Ingredients Like A Pro

To judge vegetable freshness, remember these 3 easy ways:

  • Sight : Choose the brightest and liveliest colors out of the bunch. The color should be even with no dark spots or mold. The skins are not wrinkly and the leaves show no signs of wilting. 
  • Sniff : In general, fresh produce will smell fresh. Some vegetables have a slightly pungent smell when fresh, like in the cabbage family. 
  • Touch : The texture and firmness of the vegetables indicate the freshness. Some vegetables may feel firm, not rubbery such as zucchini and cucumbers. Others will have a slight springiness when fres, such as tomatoes or mushrooms. There are those that feel solid too such as potatoes and onions. 

2. Fruits

The surface of fruits and melons should be largely smooth and even, firm but not hard. Check for dents which may be a sign of damage. Also pay attention to the weight, heaviness can indicate how juicy a fruit or melon is, especially with oranges, lemons, watermelon and cantaloupe. 

Fresh fruits also give out a light aroma, but nothing too overpowering or too strong which may mean over-ripeness. A light and sweet smell is a good indicator of fresh and ripe fruit. 

3. Meat & Poultry

While purchasing meat, search for high tenderness, juiciness and flavor. There should be no tear in skin and fully fleshed/ meaty. The surface is not too dry or too wet with no blood splashes. Avoid rancid smelling meat or anything that’s already mushy or does not bounce back when pressed. 

7 Ways to Choose Food Ingredients Like A Pro

More tips on choosing meat and poultry by the colors below :

Beef : Looks bright cherry color to indicate freshness, but may also look darker purplish-red when wrapped, which is still okay since the color will return when exposed to air. 

Pork : Pinkish-red color indicates freshness, so avoid any pale- looking meat. 

Poultry : Avoid purple, green or any discoloration. Choose the meat that is pink in color. 

Lamb : Choose soft pink to red color meat. The fat should be white

4. Seafood

Freshness is key with seafood. Look for bright, clear and full eyes that are protruding. The gills are bright red or pink. The surface of the fish is firm yet elastic and not slimy. These tips also apply to raw shrimp and whole squid : clear, full and firm meat with no signs of damage. 

Fillet fish should also have no browning or bruising. While shellfish are best purchased live, as are crabs. 

5. Eggs

Size does not affect quality, so feel free to choose the ones that best fit your needs. The shell color also does not influence the nutritional values or quality. In general, the outer appearance does not work as the indicator, but rather the content itself. 

7 Ways to Choose Food Ingredients Like A Pro

Look for yolks that are thick and high, not flat. As for the whites, they should be plentiful, thick and not runny. Discard the eggs that are stale and use only fresh ones.  

6. Spices

Spices don’t actually have an expiration date, but they may lose flavor as they age. As such, you’d want to buy them whole or fresh rather than ground versions, but you will need a grinder. You may also buy them packed but keep in a cool and dry place to maintain the quality. 

7. LuxoFood – Your Trusted Online Premium Grocery

Not every fresh ingredient needs your direct inspection, especially in the digital age of online grocery shopping. When this is your situation, be sure to connect with only the most trusted online grocery such as LuxoFood

We aim to provide only the freshest ingredients, including perishable items, local produce and other food items with quality in mind. Place your order, arrange your delivery, and let us take care of the rest!

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