The Imperfect Digest

Educating and connecting our community.

Too Curvy For Stores?

Too Curvy For Stores?

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We all know that curves are beautiful on people, but did you know that in the produce world they are a common reason that produce gets passed over by grocery stores and goes to waste? Here are 3 of our veggies that would have gotten overlooked because of their curves: 

Anaheim Peppers

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Curve report: When it comes to hot peppers, stores want ones that are straight and stackable so they will look pretty in tall displays. Since these ones look like question marks and commas, they're considered too curvy for the store. 

How to cook with them: Because of their shape, they might be slightly harder to slice into even strips for fajitas or rajas, but they're perfect for roasting and adding to salsas. If you're worried about the heat, remove the seeds before cooking with them. 

An easy recipe: Anaheim pepper salsa! 

Cucumbers

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Curve report: We got a call from an English cucumber grower the other week who let us know that they had a batch of cukes that were simply too curvy for the machine that normally wraps their cucumbers in plastic for the grocery store displays. We think that cucumbers don't need to be straight or wrapped in plastic to be delicious and bought all of them that we could. 

How to cook with them:  For fast meal prep and improving your salad game, we're big fans of using a mandoline to slice cucumbers. It will work just fine with irregularly shaped cucumbers. Just be careful with those fingertips! Better yet, skip the knife work and try smashing them for a salad. 

An easy recipe: Smashed cucumber salad with scallions and chili oil! 

Carrots

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Curve report: While straight carrots can be turned into those orange torpedo-shaped "baby" carrots that you see at the store, curvy carrots have no such luck. If a grower has enough of them, they can try selling them to a processor or juicer but they may not make much if any money this way. We gladly buy curvy carrots so the farmer can get a better price for their labor and you can enjoy a versatile and sweet veggie in your next box. 

How to cook with them: Don't drive yourself crazy trying to turn curvy carrots into a fancy or uniform small dice for a recipe. It's not worth it. These type of carrots are better suited for being thrown into a broth or braise whole or roughly chopped. They're also great roasted with other root vegetables and your favorite herbs! 

An easy recipe: Maple-glazed carrots with thyme! 

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