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29 Helpful Cooking Tips

Published: April 2019
What Are Cotton Candy Grapes?
It's all in the name.
Published: December 2018
Florida Avocados vs. Hass Avocados
Florida avocados are big and smooth-skinned, unlike the more traditional Hass avocados. Can you make guacamole with them?
Published: October 2018
How to Measure Grated Citrus Zest
When measuring grated citrus zest, should you pack it into a measuring spoon or keep it loose?
Published: October 2017
The Best Ways to Use Asian Pears
How do Asian pears compare to other common pear varieties?
Published: April 2015
Fruit Condiments
Can you tell a compote from a chutney? A jam from a preserve? It’s easy to get confused since grocery store labels are often inexact. Here’s the real deal when …
Published: April 2015
How to Cook Avocados at Home
Avocados are very sensitive to cooking times, here's how to get the best results.
Published: October 2014
Determining a Honeydew Melon's Sweetness Before Buying
How can I tell if a whole honeydew melon will be sweet?
How to Keep Leftover Avocados Green
Published: April 2014
How to Keep Leftover Avocados Green
It's quite common to use half of an avocado and save the rest for later. Is it possible to keep the leftover half from turning brown?
Published: August 2013
Substituting Avocado for Butter in Cookies and Cakes
Some recipes suggest substituting mashed avocado for butter in cookies. Does it work?
Published: June 2013
Explaining Red and Baby Bananas
How do baby bananas and red bananas differ from regular bananas?
Published: October 2012
Sulfured vs. Unsulfured Dried Apricots
Grocery stores will often carry both sulfured and unsulfured dried apricots. How do they differ?
Published: April 2012
Ripening Fruit
Bananas ripen on the counter. Is that true of any unripe fruit or vegetable that you buy?
Published: October 2011
Lemon Oil 101
What exactly is lemon oil? The package instructions say to use it in place of lemon zest.
Published: June 2010
Stemming Strawberries and Water Absorption
Will strawberries soak up water if the berries are stemmed before washing?
Published: October 2009
Dried Fruit
Almost any fruit can be dried (the process concentrates flavor and sugar), and these days, most of them are—from blueberries to cranberries to mangos. 
Published: October 2009
Plumping Dried Fruit
Use this simple technique to soften and plump dried fruit.
Published: December 2008
Pear Pointers
Tips on how to pick the perfect pear.
Published: December 2008
Rating Raisins
What’s the difference between dark raisins and golden raisins?
Published: February 2008
Tropical Fruit
The winter months bring a number of exotic fruits from tropical climates to supermarket shelves. Here are tasting notes for 12 of our favorites.
Published: June 2007
Melons come in nearly every shape, size, and color. What lies beneath the thick rinds of these fruits? To find out, we sampled 12 varieties that range from ever…
Published: June 2007
Storing Citrus
Do you need to refrigerate citrus fruits?
Published: June 2007
Juicing Limes
The flavor of Key limes and regular supermarket limes (called Persian limes) are almost identical—but there’s a big difference in squeezing time.
Published: April 2007
Fruit and Fire
Grilling caramelizes the sugars in fruits and gives them a complex, smoky flavor. But not all fruit belongs on the grill.
Published: February 2007
Citrus Fruits
Sweet, tart, and high in vitamin C, citrus fruits are favorites across the globe. We picked, peeled, and ate 16 varieties, some common, some obscure.
Published: June 2006
We tasted 12 varieties of fresh berries, some familiar and some exotic, to appreciate their unique flavors.
Published: June 2006
How to Freeze Berries
Most berries freeze very well—if you follow a few simple steps.
Published: October 2005
Juicing Lemons
Here are the test kitchen’s tips for getting the most juice out of lemons.
Published: August 2005
Apple Seeds
Is it true that the seeds in apples are poisonous?
Published: June 2005
Storing Strawberries
Use this tip to keep your summer berries crush-free.