I have issues with produce. I wish I didn’t have these issues. I have friends who love produce – who cannot get enough of berries and apples and veggies!
But I… I have issues. Confession time:
Produce freaks me the freak out. Selecting even the most basic fruit in the store makes me break out in hives because I live in constant fear of Getting It Wrong. Bananas. Seems easy enough. But I hesitate because do I want all yellow bananas? What if I don’t eat them fast enough and then they get mushy and get TOO banana-ey? What if I don’t have time to make banana bread with the mushy banana and then, bam, I’ve lost that banana? Or, what if I buy them too green and have to wait a few days and then when they are JUST turning yellow, open it up and find out that it’s still just a bit too firm on the inside? I mean, I’ll eat it anyway, but I won’t like it as much.
And peeps, that’s just me and bananas. Strawberries. They all look great in the carton, but on far too many occasions I’ve removed the top berry to find a hairy, moldy, nast-tastic strawberry lurking in the center. And then I start wondering, “Well, has that strawberry contaminated the other strawberries? Are they all secretly going moldy and then, you know, what if I don’t wash the strawberries well enough??”
Tomatoes seem to be easier for me, so we eat a lot of those. Raspberries are the same issue as strawberries, plus, they really need a lot more rinsing and inspecting. Pineapples are responsible for the pesky frown lines in my forehead. As are melons. Grapes used to be easy, but then I’ve had a few icky batches and now I furrow my brow in their general direction, too.
Do NOT get me started on lettuce. First of all, I know the bagged lettuces are bad. I’ve read the articles about the lettuce bacteria found in the prepared salad bags that will eat your face off in the middle of the night. But that, to me, is less scary than getting a thingie of Romaine lettuce. There’s like, dirt up in the romaine lettuce. You have to really clean those suckers. And even then, I find myself picking through my salad wondering if I got it all…
Once I get through the screening process and the washing process and the prep process, I find myself LEERY of the final product. Uncertain of whether I’ve made the right decision and having bitten into a few too many items of produce that just didn’t taste right, I am slow to chomp down.
I’m more likely to be OK with produce at a restaurant – far more confident in someone else’s ability to select, clean, prepare and serve produce than my own. Tell me all you want about kitchens in restaurants – and I’m still more likely to enjoy their produce than my own. It’s sad.
In an effort to do better with produce, I’ve started purchasing most of my produce through Peapod. They do a nice job of picking out produce and I’ve had far fewer misses with their selections than with mine. Even still…
You know what I’ve never wondered about? Chocolate. Maybe I should just focus on my strengths. Do what you know, you know?