Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thumping, Touching, Smelling

I think food is interactive, just like most things.  You have to get up close and personal with it. Take produce for example, touching, smelling, thumping works. Visuals are good, but you need a little more dimension to the selecting process. My mother taught me that as a young girl. She said there is texture and essence to consider. “If you can’t smell a tomato, then it’s not going to taste like much either. You have to put your nose up to it, take a good sniff, give it a gentle squeeze. It will tell you all you need to know."  She showed me how to push on the end of a cantaloupe to tell if it was ripe or not. She said you can thump and smell it too, but pushing on the end is the best indicator, too firm not ripe enough, if your thumb goes into the melon too much, it’s overly ripe.  Of course, with the watermelon, a thump is always best. With corn on the cob, if the you put your thumbnail in a kernel and it doesn't pop, spaying a little juice out, then it's not fresh.  It probably helped that in the summer we had a vegetable garden with an abundance of watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, corn, peppers, potatoes. They provided the yardstick to measure the grocery store versions.  Of course it helps, too, that Mom is a great cook and willing to teach. I’m still gladly taking lessons.

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