How can you tell if a pear is ready to eat? What's the best way to store beets? Which melons are the best to select? Farm Fresh's in-depth produce tips answer these questions and many more.
Photo by normanack
The site is written by Tony Tantillo ("The Fresh Grocer"). The produce tips cover selecting, storing and preparing many fruits and vegetables. You'll also find interesting facts, a seasonality chart, nutrition facts, and details on specific varieties. Herbs and spices are also covered (to a lesser extent).
As an example, here's an excerpt from the pears page:
When selecting the perfect pear, look for pears that are firm, not soft, free of blemishes or bruises, with intact stems. To determine if your pear is ready to eat, apply gentle pressure to the stem end of the pear with your thumb and if it yields slightly, it is ready.
Pears are among the few fruits that improve after they're picked, as long as they are picked fully mature, but not ripe. [...] Pears that are harvested before they are fully mature can develop grittiness, mainly around the core. Leave them out at room temperature and they will ripen in a few days to a week, depending on the maturity when purchased.
[...] If you choose to hold off the ripening process, the fruit should be refrigerated and will hold three to four weeks there until ready to ripen. Once ripe, a pear will not last much more than a couple of days, even in the refrigerator.
This would be a great site to bookmark and refer to when you're out shopping.
(As for the answers to the other questions above: Store beetroot in a plastic bag in the fridge, after cutting the leaves from their roots and leaving an inch or two of the stems attached. A good rule of thumb for picking ripe melons like honeydew is "if it smells good, it will probably taste good".)