Originally Posted by Koukouvagia
What is the best way to wash the following vegetables? Do you feel a simple rinse gets them clean enough? Sometimes at the market I see apples fall to the ground and then picked up and put on the pile again. Does a simple rinse suffice for the fallen apples?
For the apples, having fallen to the ground is the least of their problems. I worry more about sprays, and then secondly about maybe the hands of the people who handled it. But you're pretty fussy, i think. I'm not so worried about floors.
Maybe i've been inured living here. Once in rome, i saw a delivery boy taking the rolls to the small grocery store from the bread bakery. As they used to do as late as the 1980s, he brought them by bike, with a huge plastic basket attached (it was a specially made three wheeler). The bike fell over when he got off and the rolls fell into the street, to the side of the sidewalk, near the gutter. He just scooped them up and put them back in the basket! An old italian saying says "bread is clean when it gets on the table!" Another story my mother in law told, about when she worked in her father's store (1930s). A peasant woman had the big loaf of casareccio bread she was buying sitting on the counter and sat her baby on top of it as she took out the money. The baby peed on the bread, and when my mother in law pointed it out she said, "oh that's ok, it's from my little Bernadino"
Anyway, i tend to rub fruit and things that are hard and can be rubbed, one by one, while i hold them under running water. I never felt just rinsing would remove sprays. I don't wash anything i peel, like onions, carrots, etc. But potatoes are covered in dirt and the dirt gets on the peeled part so i rinse them. I use my salad spinner for salad greens, and also stuff like spinach if there isn;t too much of it, because you can swish it around in the water and then lift it out of the bowl using the straining basket, and the dirt stays in the pot. Other vegetables need a huge pot to wash.
Grapes are hard because theyl;re usually heavily sprayed but are impossible to rub. I also put in the salad spinner, fill with water, shake around with my hands, so at least they rub against each other, and change the water a couple of times.
I slit open fennel and open the fanlike sections, because there is often snail droppings in there, and snail droppings carry tapeworm. I slice the green of leeks to get at the sand that lodges there.
I'm not too fussy about anything that's cooked, unless i suspect it's been sprayed.