Now that the school year is back in swing, I’ve decided to get back to my Friday in France posts. I know I’ve already sited some of the wonders of the French market place in my Hello There Pig Face! post. But today I wanted to talk about the actual ‘interaction’ the French seem to have with their fresh produce.
I guess there are three factors that determine a fruit or vegetable is ‘ripe for the picking’ as they say.
First is color. Tomatoes should be bright red/orange. Banana’s should be yellow, not green. Avocados are usually ripe when they’ve turned a very dark evergreen...you get the idea.
Next is touch. In the marketplace you’ll see people digging through baskets of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions, potatoes and other veggies- looking for those perfect few that will make it into their carton. Avocados especially draw a lot of attention because you have to be able to push in the skin just a little- the flesh beneath should be somewhat soft.
But then you have melons.
Now melons are a real crowd pleaser when it comes to finding ‘the one’. Because not only do you have to go by color (beige/green) and texture (firm) but the biggest identifier of a good melon is the smell. The back end of a melon should smell just as the melon would taste- sweet, moist, and melon-y.
But for some reason, I always feel awkward smelling melons. I mean, when you see this coming at you:
Well, to be frank, I can’t help but feel like I’m smelling a melon’s butt every time.
Call me weird.
How do you all go about choosing vegetables where you live?
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!! A big 'Hello' and 'Welcome' to all the new followers!! *waves frantically*
Smelling a melons butt...priceless. I'm not a smeller, which probably means I can't judge fruit professionally. If they aren't bruised or squashy, I'm good with it.
Melons are the hardest to determine if they are ripe! I usually let them sit for a couple days before eating them. And bananas are hard b/c green ones sometimes turn rotten before they turn ripe - I call it the banana syndrome.
That's really cool (not the part about the melon butt). I did not know that you could smell a melon to see if it's ripe.
WARNING: Do not allow pictures to creep into you head while reading the next line.
Um...squeeze, prod, touch, and embarrassingly enough - sniff. ;D
I'm a big melon smeller, but then I sniffed diapers when my kids were little to determine whether they needed a changing. So melon butts are a step up for me.
I'm not much of a smeller, I'm more of a feeler guy. I tend to use my personal squishy test. But I guess it's whatever works for you.
Appearance, touch and sometimes smell. I'd never thought of a melon having a 'butt' - I don't think I'll ever forget it now;-)
So cool you get to live in France.
Here in England, most of the fruit I buy needs a couple of days to ripen, nectarines and avocados especially.
I smell my melons, lol--couldn't resist, but not the butt. I was taught to press the melon booty. It should be pliable, somewhat soft (not mushy) to the touch and the melon (doesn't matter what part) should smell as you described.
Have a great weekend.
I totally smell my melons, though now I probably won't be able to do it without laughing. I also smell pineapples, where the spiky green part meets the pineapple part. It makes me feel like I'm kissing its neck. The things we do for fresh produce....
I like touching melons.
I don't smell every melon, but definitely yes on the cantaloupes and the honeydews. I also shake the cantaloupes. I gently squeeze peaches, nectarines and plums. And even though greenish bananas aren't ripe - I like them better than totally yellow ones. They'll probably kill me someday, but they taste better, imo.
I actually throw my melons in the air and catch them. It's the weight that makes me buy it. Same with heads of iceburg lettuce. (I know shame on me.)
Tomatoes, peaches, plums I fondle, bananas I do buy green and let them ripen.
I don't think I smell my food. But it sounds like fun.
If it doesn't look or feel yucky, then I'm good to go. :D
My hubby is the one who buys the melons. Not sure if he sniffs them. Probably.
I knew I had to smell melons to see if they were ripe, but I knew nothing of having to smell their butts! Hmmm...I'll have to give it a try. :)
Melon butt! LOL I've never looked at my vegetables or fruits that way. Maybe I should?
OH now you see I'll think of melons having butts as I see them in my local shop! LOL!!! Yay for melon butts! LOL!!!
I guess I like my fruit firm, just ripe and looking ok!! Yay! take care
Yup, I'm totally a produce sniffer. For cantaloupes, though, you only want to catch a faint whiff of that sweet melon smell. If the smell is too strong, the melon is too ripe.
One of my super hero powers is an acute sense of smell. I smell all my fruit and vegetables, not just the melons, before we eat them. Any sign of trouble, and I throw them away - kills my husband, who can't tell the difference.
man! i never knew about smelling them. i just kinda squeeze them. but then again, my sense of smell is barely there. so, smelling wouldn't really help me much.
i just gotta say, all these comments cracked me up! i really need to get my mind out of the gutter.
Mmmmm, now I'm hungry! ;)
I don't eat melons so I have no clue about the smellin melon butt. But my husband and kids are addicted so they have to make do with my method at the grocery. I'm a squisher.
And I always feel like I'm a little rough and violating them somehow...
Thanks so much for following my blog, otherwise I might not have found yours. LOVE THIS! Not only did I live in France, but I'm a MELON SNIFFER, TOO! Not the butts, though.
Your blog title cracks me up. I remember what that was like. ^_^
LOL. Smelling melon butt ... that is a new one on me. I will be chuckling the next time I go to the market and see someone pick a melon up. Have a great weekend.
lol! Smelling a melons butt. That's just awesome.
But you know what? We do the same thing when getting our melons. hee hee.
LOL at smelling melon butts! I'll remember that next time. I'll look like a real Pro. (!)
And this is a complete aside, and it might just be me and my doddery eyes, but I find the background on your blog (the pink / white diamonds) gives me complete headspin. I love your blog so do visit but find it hard to linger as the pattern makes me feel a bit swirly. Anyway, as I say, it's prob just me and my bad eyes!
I use my eyes and my nose and try to be subtle. :-)
From now on I'll be more careful about smelling melons, though. You've implanted a nasty visual. :-)
Darn it - just read my comment back and I missed an exclamation mark from the word headspin! Poop. Without it it sounds worse than I meant - basically I just wanted you to know in case something as little as that is stopping other people who might feel swirly from seeing how awesome your blog is. :)
Am now off to sniff unripe melon butts in penance.
Hahahaha I'll never smell a melon the same way again. Hopefully I won't be the only one falling into fits and giggles around the melons.
Some of our veggies get delivered from a local farm, but at the farmer's market I'm the same way. Feel, prod, check the color, and, (you guessed it) sniff!
I'm more of a grab-whatever's-closest kind of a gal. Doesn't get the best fruit, but it does save me time. :)
Agh--I'm guilty of touching the produce, but it always freaks me out because...well...everyone ELSE is touching the produce, too! I'm no a germaphobe, really, but this one...ack! It freaks me out!
Studied in France for a few months. Loved their fresh food market. The sound and smell were great.
Every Savage Can Reproduce
I am big on smelling foods while I'm eating. I get strange looks sometimes, but I sniff everything before taking a bite - it's part of the experience. But I don't smell groceries before I buy them. Never thought of it really. Maybe I should start.
I don't eat melons but next time I'm in the store I'm gonna check out melon butt.
That's too funny.
Haha! Smelling melon butts *snicker* I'll never look at a melon the same way ever again.
Now I'm going to feel a little creepy in the produce section, like I'm harassing the melons or something.
My melon smeller is defective. I've imitated other shoppers and sniffed those melon butts, but I can never identify any difference between them.
Love it! My Melon smelling will never be the same. Have a great weekend!
I definitely use touch to pick my fruits and veggies, but I never thought of smelling them. That might have to happen this weekend. :)
HA! Melon's butt. Awesome.
Melons are too sickeningly sweet to me. I even like my chocolate with some bite, lol.
At least I won't need to sniff melons bottoms.
I'm laughing the picture of you standing in a market refusing to small a melon's butt!
Yes, I smell melons. Never thought of melons as having butts, LOL. Now I'll be laughing when I smell my melons, which in turn will get me strange looks from other shoppers. I don't smell watermelons. Those I thump on, listening for that certain sound.
Giggles! I've been to France twice and one of the things that I immediately noticed (aside from France's wonderfully friendly people--yes that's true, I don't care what tourists say about the French) is how passionate its people are about their markets. It is a very sensual experience.
Wouldn't I love to write a book about traveling France's various markets. Of course, that's already been done, but I'd still like to do my own research!
I go by smell for melons, along with shaking to see if I hear seeds. Even then I leave them out a day or two in case I was wrong in the ripeness dept. Thanks for the good tips.
Hey CQG, I absolutely love the design of your blog. How did you achieve it?
It's unique and incredibly appealing.
Dude! I do not have the skilzz in this area. I appreciated this post!
Goodness I had never thought of that before.
1. I never smell melons, maybe I should and
2. I'll never look a melon in the butt in quite the same way again LOL!
I can just imagine you smelling a melon's butt! LOL! I'm not a fan of smelling fruit in public. :)
I tend to do the same as you although I've never thought that I was smelling a melon's butt before. I'm sure I will now though!
I've never smelled melons before and never thought of them as having a butt. I'll never look at them the same way again.
but you see, darling, those Frenchies know you can't create great dishes without great ingredients... :D
no, I've never smelled a melon butt. But thanks for the tip! *snort*
*takes extreme notice as Noddy and Marshmallow, both extreme crowd pleasers, pass by* Hm. I never realized until now how much the back end of a cat resembles that of a melon.
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