This summer, I had a real battle with kiwis. Actually, I had a real battle (as in food fight) with cherry tomatoes, but that’s a whole other story. My battle with kiwis was more of a mental struggle. Week after week I went to the grocery store and selected what looked to be perfectly delicious kiwis, at least to my ignorant eyes. Inevitably, I would get them home, cut into them, and take a bite, only to be met with a hard, tart disappointment. So, I decided to start letting them ripen for a few days, only to wind up with kiwis that were practically mush as well as a real haven for fruit flies.
Enter Produce Pal and I will never have this difficulty again. Produce Pal, an app produced by Silton Solutions, promises to allow you to “Pick Produce Perfectly Every Time!” The app is designed for the more portable iPhone, allowing you to whip it out in the produce aisle so that you can squeeze, sniff, and tap your fruits and vegetables in the proper manner.
The app consists of a list of fruits and a list of vegetables. Select a fruit or vegetable and a you get a short description of what to look for in order to pick the perfect one. There are also storage tips so you can keep your produce perfect once you get it home, as well as nutritional facts so that you can be sure to get a balanced diet. And to add a little fun to the app, each fruit and vegetable also has a few “Fun Facts.” For instance, did you know that the nectarine and the peach differ by only a single gene that causes the peach to grow fuzz?
This is a really practical, handy app to have on your iPhone. I can never remember if I want a watermelon to sound hollow or not when I tap it. I have also found myself on more than one occasion purchasing a fruit or vegetable for the first time and having no idea how to select one or what to do with it once I get home. Produce Pal can easily eliminate all of this uncertainty in the grocery store. It will also help you get more bang for the buck, since you will no longer come home with less than optimal fruits and veggies that spoil because you have stored them improperly. The developers of the app strongly encourage users of the app to submit new fruits and vegetables to them to include in the next update of the app. In the last update, over 40 new fruits and vegetables were added.
There is not a whole lot that I can say against the app. Visually, it is not super exciting, but given the simplistic, easily navigable layout, I can’t even complain very loudly on this point. One potentially useful addition to the app might be a section describing how to prepare the produce for cooking. Sometimes when I pick up a new fruit or vegetable, I have no idea if I should be eating the skin or peeling it, removing seeds or leaving them in, and so on.
I now know that I should both squeeze and sniff kiwis when picking them. I expect that I will be whipping out Produce Pal on a regular basis when I am out at the grocery store. Maybe I can even impress a few cashiers with a little of my newly learned produce trivia.
Photo Credit: Ostrosky Photos