Friday, June 21, 2013

How to Buy Cauliflower

Though most abundant from September through January, cauliflower is available during every month of the year.  California, New York, Oregon, Texas and Michigan are major sources.  The white, edible portion is called the curd and the heavy outer leaf covering, the jacket leaves.  Cauliflower is generally sold with most of the jacket leaves removed, and is wrapped in clear plastic film.

When buying look for white to creamy-white, compact, solid and clean curds.  A slightly granular or "ricey" texture of the curd will not hurt the eating quality if the surface is compact.  Ignore small green leaflets extending through the curd.  If jacket leaves are attached, a good green color is a sign of freshness.

Avoid a spreading of the curt .  This is a sign of aging or over-maturity.  Also avoid severe wilting or many discolored spots on the curd.  A smudgy or speckled appearance of the curd is a sign of insect injury, mold growth or decay and should be avoided.
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