We’re smack in the middle of summer, which means it’s prime produce season, but picking the best produce only comes with experience. Expert advice can certainly help.

I visited a market to ask a local farmer how to choose the best pickles, cucumbers and corn. Watch as Becca gives us the pro tips.


Zucchini is a versatile summer staple. Pair it with pasta, fry it and serve with marinara, or make it in to a dish of trendy zoodles.

When choosing zucchini remember these three things:

  1. Bigger isn’t better. Larger zucchini tend to have larger seeds and less flavor. Smaller is the way to go.
  2. Zucchini can be green, yellow or white in color, but always look for a rich saturation of color on top — the underside will be paler in color, and that’s okay. It’s just the side that didn’t face the sun.
  3. Stems are a good thing if you’re not eating immediately. Pick a zucchini with some stem remaining. That helps them last longer.


Cucumbers taste best young and fresh. Older cucumbers can taste bitter or chewy. Here are a few pointers:

  1. Pick the ones that have a nice dark colored skin.
  2. Make sure the cucumber is firm to the touch. Pick the product up and examine for any spongy spots. These usually mean that cucumber isn’t fresh.
  3. Small and slender usually means tastier. Smaller also usually means fresher with less seeds.
  4. Also, check for wax. Some growers will apply a wax to make the product last longer. Use your finger nail to lightly scrape the skin and check.


Before any salads, salsas, creams or cobs can be had, you need to select a healthy stalk of corn.

  1. Check the top of the husk for the stringy tassels. If they’re dry or brown, pass. Go for one with a light color or white tassels.
  2. Feel for kernels through the husk. Make sure you don’t feel any holes where kernels should be. If you do, choose another.
  3. Husk color. Bright geen and tightly wrapped, and sometimes even damp, means the corn is fresh and tender.
Meghan Rodgers


How do you choose your produce? Leave me your best tips in the comments.

Visit everybodycravespantry.com for healthy groceries and ingredients. 




Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.