One of the greatest joys of summer is the abundance of bright and beautiful, seasonal produce. Biting into a juicy nectarine, the smell of sweet pineapple, and the crisp crunch of cucumber each evoke an instant feeling of refreshment. But that feeling is quickly lost if the fruit is not stored appropriately.
Shamrock Foodservice Warehouse offers the highest quality Markon whole fruits and vegetables and to keep them fresh, here are tips on how to best care for them!
- The Drive Home. Avoid putting produce in the trunk of your vehicle and instead keep it up front with you. If you need air conditioning in the summer, your produce probably does too.
- The Crisper Drawer. Some fruits and vegetables produce ethylene gas, which can cause spotting and yellowing in produce stored nearby. Leafy greens, carrots, and broccoli are all ethylene sensitive and should be stored separately from ethylene-producing produce, such as melons. Store ethylene-sensitive produce in the crisper draw to keep them separate from ethylene-producing items elsewhere in the refrigerator.
- Storage Matters. The storage method for produce should match the climate of the place where the fruit was grown. Apples and pears (from temperate regions) do best when stored just above freezing. Mangoes and bananas (from tropical regions) don’t like the cold and shouldn’t be refrigerated. Avocadoes shouldn’t visit the fridge until ripe.
- Get to Know Your Produce. Each product has its own idiosyncrasies. Embrace them and benefit from the flavors they yield! Here are a few examples:
- Watermelon is better left uncut until right before eating. Once cut, it can be frozen in cubes.
- Grapes shouldn’t be washed or destemmed before refrigerating.
- Strawberries can last up to two weeks with extra care. Berries.com says to put them in a mixture of 1 ½ cups of water and ¼ cup of vinegar for about five minutes before rinsing them with cold water, patting dry and then adding a paper towel to your container before
- Pineapple is best stored at room temp until ripe or about up to three days. Once peeled and chopped they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about seven days.
- Nectarines should be kept at room temp until ripe. To speed up the ripening process, they can be placed in a paper bag out of direct sunlight. Ripe nectarines like the crisper drawer.
- Cucumbers should be wrapped in a paper towel inside a plastic bag once washed.
- Tomatoes prefer to be away from sunlight and don’t ripen correctly in the refrigerator. They should be stored stem side down and not touching until they're fully ripe, then they can head to the fridge.