Useful Info

Parmigiano-Reggiano: How can I tell that I am buying real Parmigiano-Reggiano?

Mary e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink that she would like to try Parmigiano-Reggiano but found the cheese department of her market confusing and wasn’t sure how she could tell she was getting the right cheese. There are several hard cheeses on the market that are similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano in color but…


Ramps: What are ramps and how do you cook them?

This week I got an e-mail from Cindy saying she had seen ramps in her local farmers’ market and she wondered what they were and how they are used. Ramps (Allium tricoccum), aka “wild leeks,” belong to the onion family. Their flavor is somewhere between that of onions and very…


Eggplant: How can I select an eggplant that isn’t bitter?

Dolores e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink that many of the meatless main dishes she likes to make for Lent include eggplant and wondered if there was some way to make sure the eggplant won’t be bitter. Eggplants become bitter if they are very mature and full of seeds when harvested or…


Avocados: Can avocados be frozen?

Becky wrote to the Kitchen Shrink that her brother can send her cases of avocados from Texas but she needs a way to preserve them. She wondered if she could freeze them or freeze her homemade guacamole, and if so, how? According to the California Avocado Commission, avocados can be…


Bananas: Are bananas good to eat after they have been refrigerated?

Marla e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink that she had accidentally put her bananas in the refrigerator in a bag of groceries and now the skins are black. She wondered if they are still good to use. Bananas are still just fine to use if they have been refrigerated and the skins…