Fun Fact: 50% of the cheese you see in the market is NOT cheese at all. To meet the demand, producers these days are supplying consumers with artificial products and it is getting harder to shop.
To help you look for genuine products, Enlighten has found some cool tricks you can use when you go shopping next time.
The best trick to buy the top quality cheese is this — taste it with your nose. If you are getting your cheese sliced at the deli counter, ask to try a piece before you commit to buying and smell the cheese you are about to buy. If the flavor lingers and the texture seems just right, go ahead. It is also extremely important to read the label. Pasteurized processed cheese is less than 50% cheese and sometimes it is not cheese at all.
According to reports, cheese manufacturers are scamming consumers by selling processed fake cheese. This kind of cheese looks thick and doesn’t melt at all.
With pineapples, the color matters the most. A golden-yellow pineapple is best for immediate consumption. For a quality check, look for white spots on the fruit. If the eyes of the pineapple have some whitish powder on them, this indicates that the fruit is still unripe. Smell the pineapple, if it smells sweet, it is good.
On the other hand, a brown bottom and a fermented smelling pineapple should be avoided. You can also try squishing the pineapple with your hands. Low quality or unripe pineapple will be hard whereas the overripe one will be too squishy. Find the one with the perfect balance.
Strawberries make for yummy quick treats and add an exquisite flavor to your meals, but they also don’t stay fresh for long. After they are picked up from farms, they tend to spoil really quickly. To make sure you buy the ones with a good shelf life, avoid buying any that have a dull exterior or patches on them.
Try pressing them with your index finger and your thumb. If the strawberry is firm and only slightly affected by the pressure, this is the perfect kind. If the pressure squishes it, the fruit is overripe.
It’s best to avoid berries with whitish or green spots on them. Keep in mind that what matters the most when looking for good strawberries is not the shape, but the smell. Weirdly shaped strawberries can also be delicious, just take a sniff and if they smell fruity, add them to your cart!
When buying tomatoes — the first step is obviously to look for blemishes and spots on the outside but sometimes looks can be deceiving. Squeeze the tomato and see if it resists the pressure or gets all mushy. If it stays firm, proceed to smell it. A tomato that smells flavorful is the one you should get and you should stay away from the ones who hardly have any smell at all.
There are multiple ways you can check the quality of milk. First off, take a few drops and rub them with your fingers. If it feels soapy or too textured, the milk has been adulterated and is not pure. For a better quality check, put a little bit of milk into a container and add 2 tablespoons of salt. If the milk turns blue, it is low quality and made with chemicals. The taste matters too. Keep in mind that real milk is naturally sweet, so if the milk you are buying tastes different, it is probably not a good idea to buy it.
Check for air pockets when buying bread. A loaf with varying bubble sizes is the best type. The crust should be crisp, not hard. To check for quality, press the bread and see if it bounces back. A loaf of good bread is bouncy and has a little bit of moisture in it.
To differentiate fake honey from good honey, there are multiple easy tests you can try at home. Put a drop of honey on your thumb and see if it slides off. If it does right away, the honey is fake. If it stays, it is pure.
Or, you can take 2 glasses of water and add a spoonful of honey to them. Let the honey sit and observe it. If you see that the honey is dissolving in the water, it is fake and rich in sugar. On the other hand, if it stays still at the bottom, it is good quality.
To spot good quality eggs in the store itself, you can rely on their packaging. Grade AA eggs are the best quality of eggs one can get and if you find them in stores, you can go ahead and buy them without thinking twice. Grade A follows next, then Grade B. Anything other than these should be left alone.
On the other hand, in case you are buying loose eggs without packaging, you can check their quality by observing their outer shell. It should be shiny and have a smooth texture. It is also recommended to buy eggs stored in refrigerators over ones that have been kept outside. Check the eggs for cracks. You can also check the freshness of eggs by looking at the structure of the yolk. If it is firm and round, it is fresh, but if it is diluted or there’s a transparent coating on the yolk, chances are, the egg is pretty old.
Cheap is not always best and this rule also applies to meat. When it comes to the quality of meat, pay attention to which part it is from. According to reports, good meat comes from the loin, rib, and rump. These are on the expensive side, but they also cook better, faster, and are easier to consume. When buying, make sure to check for bruises and lumps. The meat should not be too dry or too wet and it should smell a bit acidic. Its color should be vibrant and the texture shouldn’t be too soft or hard to the touch.
As weird as it might sound, look at the eyes of the fish you’re buying to check their quality. If the eyes are clear and shiny, the fish is fresh. Its gills should be bright and should not have a sour smell. If you are not buying the whole fish and only loose cut pieces, check the scales and make sure they are firm.
Do you have your own personal selection process when it comes to buying veggies and other groceries? Share your secrets with us in the comments!