Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bag It

One of the things that sucks about autumn is that all the delicious produce of the summer starts disappearing from the grocery store shelves, and being replaced with less-desirable imported versions. Some of it, like strawberries that are more white than red, simply are not worth bothering with. I'm telling you, put down the rock-hard apricots, back away slowly and wait until spring. And, unfortunately, what is available and worth eating is frequently very unripe (because it's easier to ship that way).
Luckily, there are some fruits that can still be salvaged at the grocery store, bananas, tomatoes and avocados are among them (yes, tomatoes and avocados are fruit- don't argue with me). There is a quick trick that you can use to make any unripe fruit, like those green bananas, or hard tomatoes or avocados ripen more quickly. Simply place the unripe fruit in a brown paper bag, fold over the top and leave out on your counter or in a warm (but not hot) part of your kitchen. The bag releases a hormone called ethylene that causes the fruit to ripen more quickly. Ripe apples and bananas also release ethylene, so if you are in a hurry to get those avocados ready for a fiesta tomorrow night, add one to the bag. It's one way to be in the ripe place at the right time.
Just make sure you check them periodically- if you aren't careful, a firm tomato can turn into tomato puree overnight. Come spring, this trick will work for plums, nectarines and peaches, too, but berries and pineapple don't ripen after picking, so make sure you pick out good ones. Now you're on the ripe track.


Anonymous said...

Funny- supermarkets use ethanol gas as well to ripen tomatoes.

You really wanna know what you're eating from supermarket-bought "food?"

You must check out Food, Inc.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Mercola:
"Food, Inc. is a horror movie for the socially conscious, the nutritionally curious and the hungry. Robert Kenner's documentary does for the supermarket what "Jaws" did for the beach. The film marches straight into the dark side of cutthroat agri-business, corporatized meat and the greedy manipulation of both genetics and the law."