Artichokes: Look for globes that are firm and heavy with tightly packed, stiff leaves. The more stalk the better.
Asparagus: Asparagus should be firm and straight with tight heads. A good sign of freshness is snapping them at the stem – they should snap easily.
Beans: A bright green colour with no blemishes makes for a good bean. When fresh they should snap in half easily. Large seeds and swollen pods mean the beans are too old.
Beetroot: Beetroot should have no soft or wet areas and no splitting or spots. The leaves and stems should be intact (avoid buying those with the stems cut off), and bulbs smooth-skinned.
Broccoli: Tight heads that are compact, green (no yellow allowed) and without woody stalks are a guarantee of fresh broccoli.
Cabbages: These sport a firm head with crisp, shiny leaves. Look at the outer leaves – they should have a stronger colour with no yellowing or limpness.
Carrots: Buy carrots that are small to medium-sized as they are younger and sweeter. Make sure they have no splitting and no discolouration.
Celery: Keep away from those limp stalks and limper leaves. Go for firmness, which equals crispness! No cracks allowed. Celery only lasts for up to three days in a plastic bag in the crisper section of your fridge.
Corn: Use your fingernail to puncture a corn kernel and watch for the milky juice to spurt out. Corn should still be in its lovely green and moist husk with lots of silky strands. Store and cook them in their husks too!
Aubergine: Taut glossy skin that's unblemished is what you're after. Avoid aubergines that are too large or have wrinkles.
Garlic: Give garlic heads a good press with your thumb. They should be hard and firm with tightly packed cloves and no brown spots. Choose large cloves for ease of peeling.
Ginger: Make sure it's very firm and very crisp – ginger shouldn't bend! The older the ginger, the hotter the flavour it will be. Store ginger wrapped in foil in the crisper section of the fridge or store indefinitely in a sealed container in the freezer.
Leeks: Don't buy leeks with any sign of yellowing on the crisp green stalks.
Lettuce: All the golden rules of vegetable-buying apply here: nothing withered, discoloured, blemished or broken.
Onions: Glossy, papery, crackling skins are what you're after. They should be firm, with no damp smell or spongy feel. Sprouts are a sin.
Parsnips: A crisp parsnip with smooth skin is ideal. Parsnips should also be firm, evenly sized and free from messy roots.
Peas: The younger the better. Pods that are overfirm and overfull mean they are too mature and will probably be dry, floury and tasteless. Look for bright, crisp, young peas that squeak when rubbed.
Potatoes: Avoid ones with shoots or green tinges. Make sure they're smooth, firm and dry with unbroken skin.
Pumpkin: When fresh, pumpkin should be firm, brightly coloured and have a nutty smell.
Spinach: Choose a bunch that looks perky and bright green. It may even squeak when handled – a good sign!
Spring onions (shallots): Signs of yellowing, sliminess and limpness are all no-nos.
You have chosen to leave Barkeeper.ie and navigate to Barkeeper.co.uk. Please note that membership of either site does not include membership of the other.
Both sites contain different content tailored to the particular market. If you would like your membership changed to instead allow access to Barkeeper.co.uk, please contact us on email@example.com.
If you would like to navigate to Barkeeper.co.uk, press continue now, or to remain on Barkeeper.ie, press cancel.