Some fruits and vegetables only grow at certain times of the year. When produce is at its peak, it’s known as seasonal food and is often at its most flavorful. Where you live impacts what’s in season. Here are some of the best times to buy or harvest popular fruits and veggies in the Midwest.
Strawberries: May through June
When it comes to picking strawberries, larger berries aren’t necessarily tastier. It’s better to gauge the quality of a berry by whether it’s shiny, smells good and is richly colored.
Corn: July through September
Corn on the cob is a summer staple—and sweet corn tastes best when it’s fresh. Look for firm and plump ears, which signal they’re ready to be enjoyed.
Blueberries: July through August
Blueberries are plump and have smooth, dry skin when they’re ready to be picked. If they’re light green in color, they need more time on the vine.
Peppers: July through October
There are many different varieties of peppers, but all should have shiny, firm skin when they’re ready for eating. Fun fact: Did you know that red, orange and yellow bell peppers are ripened green bell peppers?
Apples: July through October
Apples come in many kinds and all differ slightly in shape, size, color, texture, smell and taste. When picking any type of apple, feel for firm outer skin with minimal blemishes and bruises.
Watermelon: August through October
Another summer staple and refreshing treat: watermelon! As its name implies, this fruit is more than 90 percent water. When picking out the perfect one, look for darker green skin. The melon should feel heavy when you pick it up and sound hollow when you tap on it.
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