3+ Tips From A Michelin-Star Chef On How To Choose The Best Fruits And Veggies

Diply 29 Jun 2018

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that adulting ain’t easy.

One of my favorite childhood memories is not paying bills — something I definitely took for granted, especially when it comes to grocery store bills.

Not only do I struggle to use up all the produce I buy on those ambitiously healthy grocery shopping days, but I struggle with knowing exactly what to buy…particularly when it comes to picking the best and freshest fruits and veggies.

Luckily, I recently had the opportunity to chat with French Riviera Michelin-star chef Cristophe Dufau. 

Grey Goose | Ryan Emberley

He'll be hosting Grey Goose Marché pop-up dinners across Canada, and we got to chat about how to buy the best of the best when you’re at your local market or grocery store.

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Chef Cristophe Dufau definitely knows what to look for when it comes to the tastiest things. 

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As the executive chef and owner of Les Bacchanales, a Michelin-star restaurant in France, he prides himself on serving the freshest of foods.

Read along to find out his top tips!

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1. While shopping at the grocery store is an obvious option, don't forget to check out your local farmers markets or marchés for the freshest produce. 

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Chef Dufau says that not only will the flavor taste better, but "you help them to survive."

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2. Don't be afraid to make friends with your local vendors. 

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If you're feeling a little lost about what to buy or confused about what's in season, just ask! Chef Dufau says, "Don’t be shy to taste before buying."

I had no idea that was allowed!

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3. Always look for what's in season. 

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Fruits and veggies always taste best when they're in season! However, what's in season will vary depending on where you live — everywhere is a little different!

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But if you live in North America, some of the things you should be looking for in the summer include: 

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Strawberries, blackberries, asparagus, watermelon, bell peppers, eggplant, peaches, tomatoes, and more!

Now I'm going to teach you how to choose the best of summer's most popular produce!

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Watermelon is one of those fruits that everyone loves to eat, but has a hard time picking. 

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First off, pick a round watermelon that's not too big and not too small. Those will be the sweetest.

Many people think the big white spots are weird, but the more creamy-yellow or even orange-yellow, the better!

Also keep an eye out for webbing, which indicates the amount of times that bees touched the flowers. More bees = sweeter watermelon.

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When it comes to asparagus, size doesn't matter! 

Grey Goose | Ryan Emberley

Despite what you might think, size doesn't indicate quality or flavor. Thick asparagus is just more mature.

What you want to look for is vibrant green or purple-ish spears with firm stems. The tips should also be tightly closed.

Listen to your asparagus, too! If it squeaks when you squeeze it, it's good to go!

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Peaches play a huge part in my summer diet! 

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First things first, do you like sweet or tart? If you chose tart, then you'll wanna choose yellow peaches, but if you like sweet, always opt for white!

While smell is important, you should pay the most attention to color, which should be vibrant and not green.

Afterward, you'll want to touch and feel them. Naturally, peaches will get softer and juicier as they ripen. If a peach gives a little, it's ready to eat. If it's firm, it's still good to eat, it'll just be crunchy, which works great in salads.

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Is there anything strawberries aren't good with?  

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To choose the best, look for strawberries that are a bright red with vibrant green cabs. Unlike other fruits, these red berries doesn't continue to ripen after they're picked, so the whitish ones will stay that way. And sniff away, too! The sweeter the smell, the sweeter the taste.

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4. And if you're ever in France, you absolutely must shop like Chef Dufau! 

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His favorite marchés include "Marché des fleurs" in Nice, "Marché de Fortville" in Cannes, and "Marché Couvert" in Cagnes-sur-mer.

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So there you have it. I don't think it gets much better than tips from a Michelin-star chef! 

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Next time you hit up your local market, you're going to look like a fruit and veggie buying pro!

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Don't forget to pin this so that you'll always have these tips handy! 

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