Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Mar 6, 2007 04:37 PM

Less than perfect vegetables: when to keep or toss?

Tonight I ran into an unfortunate situation. While prepping to make sausage and peppers, I ran into:

1) an onion with a soft brown layer midway into the onion on the horizontal axis, but only half way through it on the vertical axis

2) a red pepper that was unblemished outside, but when cut open showed a prominent pale green membrane, and some black spotting, rather like mold.

I ended up throwing away the onion and trimming away the unsightly parts of the pepper. I'm still typing, so I imagine I'll be fine. So here's the think, at what point do you decide to keep or toss?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm ridiculously wasteful. I can't stand the thought of even a speck of mold on something, so I'd toss it all and rethink what I'd make for dinner while my husband would be behind me trying to talk me out of it, telling me it was fine :-) But, he doesn't cook at all, so what does he know LOL.

    1. I'd trim the onion, if less than half of it was iinvolved with the brown layer. If the pepper seemed otherwise fresh and crisp, I'd trim the offending parts; if it was old and tired, I'd throw the whole thing out -- again, the percentage affected by the yuck is one of my criteria. How strict I am depends partly on what else is available in the fridge... if someone has a system (other than a brain transplant) for avoiding letting veggies rot in the fridge, I'd be happy to hear it. I'm pretty bad about this.

      1. I will usually try and salvage what I can. I totally would've used the pepper too. I certainly will use a flaccid carrot or celery stick in stews and soups, and if I don't have any more garlic or onions I will cut around the bad parts. Same with potatoes. If citrus fruit is off it totally grosses me out though... I guess that is the line. If it smells funky I chuck it.


        1 Reply
        1. re: daily_unadventures

          Yeah, that's about the same as me... I use celery a lot, but I still seem to get a limp one every once and a while, but in the end, once it's cooked, you can't tell. Potatoes I don't use if they are too squishy.

        2. depends entirely on the smell, my other dinner options (some days the kitchen is empty), and just how ooky that particular item looks. Even if it involves me going out and getting dinner at 10-11 a night I will do it if the offending items are beyond foul!