There are so many great conversations on the Hotline—it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge—and to keep the conversation going.
Today: Your best advice for keeping mold at bay.
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Now that we’re getting into the season for spring and summer produce (Hallelujah!), proper storage of said produce is one of the most common issues that we get questions about on the Hotline. As we all know, there’s nothing more demoralizing than bringing home your bounty of fruits and vegetables, only to have them wilt and mold before you can turn around.
Christina Marie Smith turned to the Hotline for help, saying: “There are literally times I buy produce, and it will be moldy the next day!! And when I say this, I'm talking mainly about zucchini, corn, and bell peppers. They're always the first to mold for me. And it drives me crazy.” Luckily, Food52ers are a resourceful bunch, and you had plenty of great advice:
ChefJune says, "I not only unwrap everything when I get home, I do my best to dry it all out, then wrap some paper towels around them to try to pick up any unseen droplets, before bagging in a dry bag."
SMSF confirms our suspicion that getting produce directly from the farmers at your local farmers market is the way to go. She writes, "It's amazing how long the really fresh stuff can last. I just finished the last of a LOT of asparagus purchased nearly 2 weeks ago, and there was not even a hint of deterioration."
Garlic Fiend finds that the quality of produce varies greatly from store to store, and recommends purchasing produce from large Asian markets, as the turnover is very high.
On the homefront, creamtea goes back to basics. She says, "Maybe now that the weather is warming you might need to adjust your refrigerator temperature so that it is slightly cooler? I usually need to make that change with the change in seasons."
Lleello also says that the refrigerator might be the culprit: "Check and clean the fridge filter. It can be that there is a leftover mold that affecting the next produce."
Stephanie suggests: "Try giving your crisper a good scrub down (yup, with vinegar and water). It's possible that there are just some pesky organisms 'chilling' in there that find those items particularly hospitable." And she also recommends rinsing fruit in a 1:3 vinegar to water solution to help it stay fresh longer.
More: Are you ready to give your pantry an organizational overhaul? Read on to find out how.
What are your best tips for keeping produce fresher for longer? Let us know in the comments.