Produce from the yard, garden, or local farm markets is a wonderful thing - an abundance of beautiful, fabulously fresh food. It's very different from the experience of a supermarket. In supermarkets the goal is for every type of produce to be exactly the same - all bananas are the same size and color, ditto with each type of apple, orange, lettuce head, broccoli bunch, and the rest.
By contrast, local produce is likely to have a great variety of appearances. You might see apples that are covered in brown smudges, or squash that is ridiculously large - or small. When I started eating more local fruit and veg, I sometimes couldn't tell the difference between weird-looking produce that was actually good to eat, and that that was not. And while I didn't want to waste good food, I also didn't want to eat something that had gone bad. So, for the Turning the Tables cookbook, with the help of the staff of Cornell Cooperative Extension, I've designed a decision tree for sussing out strange fruit. I call it The Weird Fruit Thrill Ride. Try it out next time you've got some some mystery fruit on your hands - this includes veg that are actually fruit, too, like tomatoes, squash, eggplant, anything containing seeds! Let us know how it goes!