From the Farm to the Fridge: Stop & Shop Brings Shoppers Local Flavor

July 21, 2010

QUINCY, Mass., July 21 /PRNewswire/ — Ice cream and popsicles aren’t the only treats to offer kids after a long day of fun in the sun. With an abundance of in season fruits and veggies, Summer is the perfect time to instill healthy eating habits. Thanks to Stop & Shop’s 60+-year partnership with local farmers, shoppers can purchase high quality, fresh from the farm produce.

Shoppers interested in fresh, local food can rest easy as the summer months in the Northeast bring plentiful nutrient-rich fruits and veggies. Corn, tomatoes, squash, cabbage, beans, peppers, cucumbers and herbs top the list of what’s hot off the farms this month as farmers prepare for their peak harvest season in August and September.

“As the largest buyer and seller of local produce in the northeast, Stop & Shop is proud of our partnership with local farmers. Not only does local produce provide great tasting and flavorful meals for your family, you can often lower your total grocery bill when you purchase local,” said Andrea Astrachan, consumer advisor for Stop & Shop. “Local produce is sold right after it’s picked, retaining freshness and nutrients for the kids to enjoy.”

Here are some popular fruits and veggies that are currently in season in the Northeast and tips on how to select and maximize freshness.

  • Corn - Look for tight, green husks and shiny, yellow silk. Store refrigerated in a perforated plastic bag for up to one week. When grilling, soak un-shucked corn in water for 30 min. – one hour before grilling.
  • Tomatoes – Look for plump, bright-colored, smooth-skinned tomatoes that yield to slight pressure. Any soft spots are the start of bruises, which can shorten tomatoes’ shelf life. Store at room temperature for several days and keep out of direct sunlight, which can lead to uneven ripening.
  • Bell Peppers - Look for bright, waxy, wrinkle-free skins and green stems. Wrinkly skin and softness are signs of an old pepper. Store unwashed in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for up to one week. Tip: Green peppers stay fresh slightly longer than red or yellow varieties.
  • Cucumbers - Look for firmness and deep green color. Avoid wider cucumbers, which may indicate that they are full of seeds and short on flavor. Refrigerate whole for up to one week. Tip: If the cukes are unwaxed, keep them tightly wrapped in plastic to avoid moisture loss.

Get the most out of your produce by experimenting with some of these sizzling summer recipes. Visit www.stopandshop.com for more than 600 fresh recipes. For more questions regarding Stop & Shop’s local produce program contact Laura Carlson at 617-520-7298.

    Two Tomato Salad with Basil - Tasty combination of local produce for
     kids to enjoy!
    2 tsp olive oil
    1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    1/4 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
    Fresh basil leaves, divided - 2 Tbsp chopped and 4 to 8 leaves for
    2/3 cup Nature's Promise grape tomatoes, washed
    2 to 3 medium red ripe tomatoes (about 1/3 lb each), washed

    Whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and freshly ground black
     pepper.  Stir in 2 Tbsp chopped basil.  Roughly chop grape tomatoes
     and add to vinaigrette.  Toss to coat well.  Slice medium tomatoes.
     In a shallow dish, arrange tomato slices in slightly overlapping
     circles.  When ready to serve, spoon chopped tomato vinaigrette over
     sliced tomatoes.  Sprinkle with basil leaves.

    Summer Corn Salad with Dill - Perfect for Summer Entertaining!
    4 ears of fresh sweet corn
    1 Tbsp minced sweet onion
    2/3 cup chopped and seeded red, ripe tomato
    3 Tbsp Stop & Shop light mayonnaise
    1 Tbsp minced fresh dill
    1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

    Peel back corn husks, but leave attached at the bottom. Remove silks,
     rinse with cold water and return husks up over cob. Arrange in a
     baking dish and cook in the microwave on HIGH power 7-8 minutes or
     until corn is tender. Let stand until cool enough to touch. Cut
     kernels from corn with a sharp knife. Mix all ingredients together
     with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

About Stop & Shop

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company employs more than 59,000 associates and operates stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey. The company is a member of the US Green Building Council and has been awarded LEED (EB) certifications for 50 of its existing stores. Stop & Shop has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores and is also a member of the EPA’s Smart Way program.

SOURCE Stop & Shop

Source: newswire

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