1. If you store your pears in the same bowl with your shallots, you'll get shallot-flavored pears.
2. Shallot-flavored pears taste awful.
3. The Cara Cara orange is the superior navel orange. They come from California, not Florida. They have pink flesh and are as sweet as candy; other oranges taste sour in comparison. They are out of season now, and that's a drag.
4. Big Agriculture ruined the blueberry and strawberry long ago. But the raspberry and, to some extent, the blackberry are still putting up a decent fight. They taste almost as good out of the plastic container as they do off the bush. To me, it's worth paying extra for them. For baking, try the frozen tiny wild blueberries from Trader Joe's. They have flavor. They also defrost very quickly for adding to yogurt or cereal.
5. Soaking fresh berries briefly in a solution of 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water will prevent mold so they'll keep longer. You can rinse off the solution or not.
6. We cook broccoli or peas in the boiling pasta water for a couple of minutes at the end of the cooking time, or wilt baby spinach as we cook the pasta sauce for a healthier one-dish meal.
7. If you separate your bananas from the bunch as you store them, they are supposed to ripen more slowly.
8. The next time you bake brownies, melt a bunch of Andes Mints in a double-boiler and pour the hot mess over the cooling brownies for mint-chocolate frosting. Mint is a herb so this counts as a produce tip. And chocolate comes from cacao pods, so it's essentially a fruit. So there.