Produce News for Week of May 14, 2012
SUMMER SWEET CORN (MONDAY, MAY 14): Hey, this week happens to be National Etiquette Week. So, let's talk summer sweet corn. I mean, what better etiquette item than sweet corn. I mean, you got all that butter, you got it all over your hands, gets all over your mouth, all over your chin. New crop corn, of course ‑‑ Florida has been supplying corn for a long time. But now, we start in Southern California, in the desert region of California. And when they start, that really is the official ‑‑ oh, take a look at this corn right here. Oh my goodness, that is some beautiful white corn. And look at that, no space between the teeth, no space between those kernels. You know what that means? That, of course, means that those kernels are as plump as they're going to be. Now, when those kernels are plump, that means it's going to be sweet. Also, want you to look at those kernels and make sure there's ‑‑ there is no dimples in there. If you find any dimples in a kernel of corn, yellow or white, don't buy that corn. That is corn where the sugar has turned to starch. You don't want that.
COLORFUL PEPPERS (TUESDAY, MAY 15): Hey, end of the school year, I know, there's a lot of pizza parties going on. Oh my goodness. And what do you top your pizzas with? I love topping my pizzas with some peppers, and you can do green ‑‑ you can do all the colorful different peppers you want. But here's how you're going to cut these peppers. It's actually very, very simple. I'm going to do this orange one right here. You're going to take your knife and you're going to go right around the end and just roll the pepper. See how you're rolling the pepper right on around. Now, what that does, it's going to break that seedpod away from inside. Now, you just take that seedpod and throw that away. Cut this in half. Now, what you're going to want to do is, you're going to have to take some of this white part out. You see that white part? You don't want that on a pizza. So you're just simply going to cut that out, and then what you're going to do, you're going to slice this from inside out. That is the best way to slice your peppers, from inside out. That way your blade can get all the way through. Now, you can put on slices or you can do what I do ‑‑ I love just chopping them up, and dicing them on there.
WHITE ONIONS (WEDNESDAY, MAY 16): So, we have end-of-the-school-year parties and that means pizza, and I love making the pizza for the little Marks brothers and for their class. So what tops your pizza? Yesterday we talked about peppers. Of course, you put on all the color bell peppers and, of course, green bell peppers. How about an onion? Oh my goodness, little Lincoln has learned to love onions on his pizza. So what onion are you going to put on your pizza? Oh no, not yellow, try again. No, not red. Yes, white onion is what you're going to put on your pizza. What, you've never tried a white onion? Please. If you're going try white onion, this is what I want you to do. I want you to try your white onions on the pizza. White onions are, like, the best of the baking onions. Kind of like shallots, they hold up really well, and the flavor holds up well. In fact, Pizza Hut, they're the largest pizza maker in the ‑‑ for years the only onion that ever touched the top of their pizza was the white onion. There's a reason. It's the best.
KIWIFRUIT (THURSDAY, MAY 17): There is new crop kiwifruit in the grocery store. Now, you probably didn't know that, but you probably did know ‑‑ you went to buy the kiwifruit this time and wonder ‑‑ why is this kiwifruit so firm? Why is it so hard? And then you get it home and you expect to slice it up for your salad and then you wonder ‑‑ why is it taking so long to ripen? Well, it's new crop kiwifruit coming in from the southern hemisphere ‑‑ from Chile. That's why I have my kiwifruit right in this box. The box is the best place to ripen your kiwifruit. Yes, please, never ever in a million years set your kiwifruit right out on the countertop to ripen. Do not in a millions years set your kiwifruit out where it's exposed to the open air. There is no natural oils on the skin of this kiwifruit, which means, it'll just simply dehydrate and shrivel before it ever ripens. So, put it inside a box and it'll ripen perfectly.
ARTICHOKES (FRIDAY, MAY 18): All right. Just coming from the refrigerator with my beautiful artichokes. I can't wait. Oh, I was ‑‑ I had what was called hot mayonnaise. It wasn't hot temperature mayonnaise, it was hot spicy mayonnaise. Serrano chilies in mayonnaise and I said, "I can't wait to get home and have it with my artichokes." This is still peak of the season for California artichokes Castroville, California. In fact, this weekend is the ‑‑ is the Artichoke Festival in Castroville, California. These artichokes are beautiful. You know why? First of all, take a look at those big ole stems. And see right in the middle of those stems, see that, that's the heart of the artichoke. So, the fatter the stem, the more heart in that artichoke. The next thing ‑‑ I just hold this right in my hand, just hold it right in your hand. Oh, man, it feels heavy. That means there's a lot of meat on those leaves. The next thing I'm going to do ‑‑ squeeze it. Did you hear it squeak? Yeah, if you squeeze an artichoke and it squeaks, it's fresh. Oh, I can't wait to get these home.