Has this ever happened to you? You stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers market, only to find that a few days later your produce is mottled with bruises, brown spots, and wrinkly skin. The odds are good that this premature rotting has nothing to do with the quality of your produce — it is most likely the result of improper storage.
Click here for the Keep Your Peaches Upside-Down and 9 Other Tips for Storing Summer Produce (Slideshow)
There are a lot of ways that produce can be mishandled between the time it leaves the farmers market and the time that you pick it up to cook
or eat. Everything from the way it's packed into a bag and transported home to the way that you place it in your fruit bowl or refrigerator can have an impact on its shelf life.
It would be crazy to memorize an extensive list of do's and don’ts (and even crazier to try and adhere to them every time you shop), but knowing a few tips and tricks for the season’s most popular fruits and vegetables can come in handy. That's why we've put together this list of things you may not know about storing your favorite summer produce.
There are two key secrets to keeping berries
fresher longer. First, kill any bacteria that may be on their surfaces (and could contribute to spoilage) by washing the berries in a solution that is one part white vinegar and three parts water — just be sure to rinse them thoroughly after the vinegar bath so that you’re not left with any residual vinegar taste. Then, dry them as thoroughly as possible with a clean paper towel before storing them in the refrigerator or freezer.Cherries
Temperature is key when it comes to fresh cherries
. Get your fresh, unwashed cherries into cold storage as soon as possible. If you’re keeping them in the refrigerator, store them in a plastic bag. If you’re planning to freeze them, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze them fully before storing them in a plastic bag in your freezer.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.