By Brittany Anas / NewsBreak Denver
(Denver, Colo) It’s showtime for Colorado’s produce, with juicy, sweet Palisade peaches and tender ears of Olathe sweet corn making their cameos on local restaurant menus and in the produce section at your grocery store.
While the state has a pretty short harvest season, the quality of produce is exceptional this time of year thanks in part to the hot days and cool nights that make Colorado’s produce sweeter and more flavorful, explains Marilyn Bay Drake, executive director of the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA).
To help you hunt down the local produce like Pueblo Chiles and Rocky Ford Melons, the CFVGA has a tool on its website for finding local produce stands.
You can also keep tabs on the state’s harvest calendar, which shows when your favorite produce is grown in Colorado and when it’s harvested and ready to eat.
Here’s five more tips for shopping for and storing Colorado’s beloved produce from FoodSmart Colorado, which is a nutrition and food safety resource from the Colorado State University Extension:
- Peaches account for 75 percent of fruit production in Colorado! If peaches are purchased firm, store them on the counter in a brown paper bag to promote ripening. Once peaches become ripe, move them to the fruit drawer of the refrigerator and eat them within a few days.
- When you’re choosing sweet corn, look for husks that are tightly folded and green and tassels that are brown and sticky. Without peeling, feel the ear gently through the husk to check for even and plump kernels.
- Look for cantaloupes that are fragrant and symmetrical and that have a yellow or cream undertone with no major bruises. Your melons should yield slightly to pressure on the blossom end.
- Peppers have a pretty short shelf life of about two to three weeks. They do best in a cool, humid spot like your vegetable drawer in the fridge but make sure the temps don’t drop below 35 degrees Fahrenheit.