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Produce 101: Summer Squash

Summer squash are the young fruit of Cucurbita pepo and members of the Cucurbitaceae family. They are also referred to as courgette in Europe. Melons and cucumber also share in that family tree and are Cucurbits. Produce 101: Summer Squash and Winter Squash There are two “types” of squash: summer squash and winter squash. What...

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Produce 101: Herbs

Herbs are one ingredient where a little goes a long way. They add bright, herbaceous flavor to your dishes. They can be used fresh or dried, and each form will have a different effect on your dish’s outcome. When it comes to herbs, more is not always better. It is wise to exercise caution–use too...

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Produce 101: Artichokes

The artichoke was well known in ancient Rome, being mentioned as far back as 300 BC. Throughout history, the artichoke was prized for not only for its delicious flavor, but as a key medicinal plant. Uses included diuretic aid, nausea remedy, liver tonic, as an aphrodisiac, a digestive aid, a breath freshener, and even as a deodorant. The...

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Produce 101: Tender Greens

Looking to add more volume, flavor, and texture to your plate? Consider adding greens. But not just any greens–tender greens. Produce 101: Tender Greens What are tender greens? Well, they aren’t lettuces or braising greens, and they are typically used raw or wilted. They range in flavor from mild-almost-neutral, to pungent, spicy, or peppery.  ...

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Produce 101: Citrus

Citrus is anything but basic when used in the kitchen. It can be used all over the menu… use it in pastry with the zest and the juice, use it in the bar, use it in gift baskets, even use the segments in a salad. Adding a pop of citrus juice brightens any dish.

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Produce 101: Pears

We know you know what pears are, but do you really *know* pears?

What’s the best pear for poaching? What pear doesn’t usually oxidize and is great raw for salads? What pear is great for snacking? Different varieties have different kitchen roles and selecting the best one for the job can make a difference.

Ethylene can become a friend or foe when it comes to the storage and handling of your produce. Where do pears fall in relation to ethylene?

Let’s dig in.

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Produce 101: Avocado

Avocados often get a bad rap because they are pretty expensive fruit. In general they are, but like many fruits and vegetables, if you buy the grade according to your menu application, you may end up saving on your food cost. Avocado are popular for a good reason: they provide healthy fats, and play a...

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Produce 101: Winter Squash

Produce 101: Winter Squash– The Difference Between Summer Squash and Winter Squash You may wonder what a winter squash is versus a summer squash…well, the short answer is it’s a squash that’s allowed to fully mature. The seeds fully mature and become hard, the skin becomes a lot thicker, and the flesh is really dense–and...

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Produce 101: Lettuce

Lettuce is one of those items that no menu can do without. Like the Mother Sauces a chef first learns in Culinary School, the goal of our Produce 101 series is to build a foundation of basic knowledge. You can make all sauces from the Mother Sauces, and as such, you can learn about, store,...

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Produce 101: Grapes

Grapes were grown throughout antiquity, with evidence suggesting cultivation as early as 6500 BC.  There are three main types of grape uses: Grapes for wine Grapes for raisins, and Table grapes For this, we are going to focus on table grapes only.   Fun Facts The oldest grapevine in America is thought to be a...

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Produce 101: Apples

Sizes, varieties, grades…selecting the best apple for the job is important. Let’s go pick some apples in this edition of Produce 101: Apples. Produce 101: Apples Around for thousands of years, apples are one of most ancient fruits still widely grown and consumed today. We all know the story of Johnny Appleseed, who was in...

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Produce 101: Berries

There are hundreds of berry varieties grown around the world, and they are also are some of the most nutritious foods you can eat. The most commonly used are strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.  These four are very different in terms of appearance and flavor, but similar with regards to storage and handling.  For this...

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Produce 101: Tomatoes

Tomatoes are an ancient crop, thought to have originated in Central America centuries ago.  While the tomato has become associated with Mediterranean cuisine, they were are relatively late arrive to the European pantry, not arriving until the 16th century.   Are they a fruit or are they a vegetable? Botanically, they are a fruit, but...

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Produce 101: Cucumbers

Today we are going to talk about Produce 101: Cucumbers Cucumbers are how old? Cucumbers are one of the most ubiquitous items in the produce world, but did you know there are a few main types of cucumbers?  Cucumbers originated in India and are believed to have been cultivated for over 3,000 years.  Appreciated for...

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Produce 101: Stone Fruit

Today we are going to talk about Produce 101: Stone Fruit Are you ordering or storing your stone fruit for maximum freshness and flavor? All stone fruit sold is picked ripe, but that doesn’t mean it is ready to eat. You have a little homework to do on your part. I love stone fruit, in...

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Produce 101: Peas, Beans, & Corn

Produce 101: Peas, Beans, and Corn This one is a little different. Today we are going to talk about three seemingly different items, but they are intertwined. How Peas, Beans, and Corn are connected The Three Sisters is an ancient, symbiotic growing method that has been utilized by Native Americans for centuries. Three different crops—corn,...

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Produce 101: Melons

Dan talks to us today about Produce 101: Melons Throughout the season many varieties of melon are available—especially during the summer. Today we are going to just focus on the most popular: cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon. Few things are as delicious as perfectly ripe melon, but the challenge is how do you pick the perfect...

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Produce 101: Tropical Fruit

Dan talks to us about Produce 101: Tropical Fruit Tropical fruits are an amazing family of produce items.  So what designates a tropical fruit?  The short answer is that they are any fruit that grows in the regions between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, though many varieties have adapted to sub-tropical regions as well. ...

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