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This summer sweet and thirst quenching treat is available year round in a variety of sizes. The most popular variety is the seedless watermelon and sizes very from large (size 45, 60) to smaller mini personal sized watermelons.
The quality of this product can be determined by slapping the watermelon with the palm of your hand against the melon, the melon should produce a deep, rich thudding sound. Watermelons can be stored in refrigerated areas for up to 1 week. Chilling injury occurs at temperatures below 40 degrees.
On a healthy note, this snack may also help quench the inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.
Varieties include; seedless, sugar babies, mini personals
Sizes include; 45, 60, 10, 9, 8, 4, 5, 6
Honeydew's thick, juicy, sweet flesh is often eaten for a healthy snack or dessert. They are rich in vitamin C and are most flavorful if eaten at room temperature. The flesh is pale green in color, while the smooth peel ranges from greenish to yellow and is available in a variety of sizes.
Unripened honeydew melons may be kept stored in a paper bag at room temperature for 2 or 3 days to promote ripening.
Sizes include; Regular 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and Jumbo size; 4J, 5J, 6J, 8J
Cantaloupe has a refreshingly rich flavor and aroma with a high water count and a minimal number of calories. To purchase a good quality melon, tap the melon with the palm of your hand and hear a hollow sound and choose a melon that seems heavy for its size, and one that does not have bruises or overly soft spots.
Cantaloupes are an excellent source of vitamin A because of its concentrated beta-carotene content. As well, they are an excellent source of vitamin C.
A firm, whole cantaloupe can be left at room temperature for several days will allow the texture of its flesh to become softer and juicier. At its peak ripeness, place it in a refrigerated area to store for about a week.
Sizes include; Regular 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 and Jumbo size; 6J, 9J
Specialty or Fancy melons have also become increasingly popular and these formerly “exotic” melons are available seasonally at most supermarkets. The list of Fancy Melons includes; Golden Honey Dew, Hami, Santa Claus, Sharlyn, Orange Flesh, Golden Cantaloupe
The combination of crunchy texture and dry, sweet, tart flavor has made grapes an ever popular between meals as a snack. Botanically, the grape is a berry which grows on vines in clusters.
Grapes have huge health benefits and have been found to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease and can help protect against heart disease.
Grapes come in a number of varieties and the availability of these grapes depends on the time of the year.
Varieties include; Green Princess, Green Thompson, Black Autumn, Black Midnight Beauty, Black Summer, Red Globe, Red Crimson and more...
Lemons are mainly tart, and can be surprisingly refreshing (think lemonade). Lemon juice, rind, and zest are used in a wide variety of culinary applications. Lemon juice is also used as a short-term preservative on certain foods that tend to oxidize and turn brown after being sliced, such as apples, bananas and avocados, where its acid denatures the enzymes which cause browning and degradation. Choose lemons that are heavy for their size and that feature peels that have a finely grained texture.
Limes are a small citrus fruit, whose skin and flesh are green in color and which have an oval or round shape with a diameter between one to two inches. Limes are often used to accent the flavours of foods and beverages and can either be sour or sweet. Sour limes possess a greater sugar and citric acid content than lemons and feature an acidic and tart taste, while sweet limes lack citric acid content and are sweet in flavor. Key limes, famous for the pie bearing their name, are smaller and a more acidic variety. Choose limes that are firm and heavy for their size, free of decay and mold.
Both lemon and lime juices and zest can also be stored for later use. Place freshly squeezed juice in ice cube trays until frozen, subsequently storing them in plastic bags in the freezer.
Sizes include; 80, 88, 100, 110
Green bean varieties have been bred especially for the fleshiness, flavor, or sweetness of their pods. A bright green color is a sign of a quality bean and they should be firm and crisp, and they should make an audible cracking sound when broken. Recent studies have confirmed the presence of lutein, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin in green beans.
Yellow or wax beans are a type of edible bean known for their bright yellow coloration. Similar in taste to string or green beans, wax beans can be used in a variety of dishes and may be eaten cooked or raw. Wax beans provide a considerable amount of vitamins A and C, while containing little fat and few calories.
Varieties of cucumber are grown either to be eaten fresh or to be pickled. The flesh of cucumbers is primarily composed of water but also contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling. Cucumbers' hard skin is rich in fiber and contains a variety of beneficial minerals including silica, potassium and magnesium. They should be firm, rounded at their edges, and their color should be a bright medium to dark green. Thinner cucumbers will generally have less seeds than those that are thicker.
Varieties Include; English, Field and Dill.
Eggplant is deeply purple, glossy beauty as well as its unique taste and texture, eggplants are available throughout the year. Eggplant is a very good source of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, copper and thiamin (vitamin B1). It is also a good source of vitamin B6, folate, magnesium and niacin. Choose eggplants that are firm and heavy for their size. Their skin should be smooth and shiny, and their color, whether it be purple, white or green, should be vivid. Tip; When cutting an eggplant, use a stainless steel knife as carbon steel will react and cause it to turn black.
Varieties Include; Italian, Sicilian, and Japanese Eggplant
The various colored Bell Peppers all come from the same plant, but differ in their level of maturity. Green bell peppers are harvested before they are fully ripe, one reason they are less expensive than other varieties. Green bell peppers will continue to first turn yellow and then red if they are left on the plant to mature.
Yellow and orange peppers have a fruity taste but are not as commonly found in local markets as green and red bell peppers.
Red peppers are rich in carotenoid phytonutrients and contain almost eleven times more beta-carotene than green bell peppers as well as one and a half times more vitamin C. Red Bell Peppers have a sweet, almost fruity taste. Interesting, Pimento and paprika are both prepared from red bell peppers.
Varieties include; Green, Red, Yellow and Orange
There are a number of spicy and sweet peppers of varying degrees of heat. The Jalapeño pepper is a medium sized chili pepper with a warm, burning sensation when eaten. A mature jalapeño is 2–3½ inches (5–9 cm) long and is commonly picked and sold when still green, but occasionally when ripe and red.
The Cubanelle pepper is a variety of sweet pepper that can be 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long, tapering towards the end, and up to 2 1/2 inches. The colours will range from pale green to yellow to orange to red.
Varieties include; Jalapeno, Cubanella, Long Hot, Finger Hot, and Cherry Hot.
Relatives of both the melon and the cucumber, come in many different varieties. While each type varies in shape, color, size and flavor, they all share some common characteristics. The entire vegetable, including its flesh, seeds and skin, is edible. In addition, some varieties of the squash plant produce edible flowers.
When purchasing summer squash, look for ones that are heavy for their size and have shiny, unblemished rinds. Additionally, the rinds should not be very hard since this indicates that the squash are overmature and will have hard seeds and stringy flesh.
Varieties include; Green, Yellow, Gray