A Guide to Summer Produce: Part 1
Season: May to late September
First things first, peaches are different from apricots and nectarines. Now that that's out of the way… if you smell these fuzzy fruits when you walk up to the stand, they're ripe and ready to eat. Look for a firm fellow with unblemished skin and without any bruises or wrinkles. For something sweet, try our Peach Crumble Dessert. For something savory, experiment with our Peachy Keen Pulled Pork.
Season: May to September
These tiny fruits hold much power. They're full of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C. To find the best of the bunch, look for powder-blue berries that are similar in size and have a firm texture. Put them in your pancakes or mix them into your smoothie. I personally like to eat them frozen as a refreshing summer treat.
Season: July to October
With plums, it was always the guessing game. I'd bite into a plum and find one of the two: a sweet, juicy taste, or a flavorless crunch. Instead of dealing with a 50/50 success rate, a more reliable ripeness test is to find a plum that has firm skin, but soft flesh when pressed gently. Another (almost) sure-fire way to get the sweetness of the plum and tartness of the skin is to cook it or bake it.
Season: May to September; peak from mid-June to late August
The next time you go the supermarket, avoid thumping your watermelon. I admit, I'm guilty of this too. According to experts, this method is actually unreliable in determining its ripeness. Instead, the trick is to look for a pale yellow patch where the watermelon rested on the ground while it ripened on the vine. While a watermelon slush is refreshingly tasty, nothing beats the no-bake watermelon cake on a hot summer day.
Season: June to early autumn
The only thing I know about figs is that John the Baptist enjoyed munching on them. To this day, people enjoy eating them raw and fresh, while some prefer them in the form of preserves or jam. Regardless of however you like your figs, obtain its maximum flavor by placing them on your windowsill for a day. You may either eat them immediately or store them in the refrigerator for an extra day. Wait any longer, and they'll spoil!