How to Pick Fresh Fruit & Veggies at a Farmer’s Market

The Benefits of Using Local Produce When Catering Events 

Our commitment to using locally grown food enables us to provide nutritious and delicious results when event catering in the Bay Area and surrounding neighborhoods. Thanks to the many farmer’s markets across the region, every meal we prepare offers a fresh and unique appeal that is specific to great California cuisine.

For large parties that require corporate catering in the Bay Area, our chef makes multiple stops to the farmer’s market so that the quality of food remains high, and does not take on a “commercialized” taste.

While we are trained to know what to look for when selecting food at a farmer’s market, more often than not, people go to the farmer’s market unaware of the best things to purchase and avoid. We have put together a short, comprehensive list so you can know exactly to look for (and avoid) the next time you visit the local farmer’s market:

Bell Peppers

Surprisingly, green bell peppers have as many antioxidants as their red and yellow siblings, but tend to be cheaper. Why not “go green,” and save a few extra dollars? Your pocket-book will thank you, and you’ll still enjoy almost an equal amount of nutritional benefits.


Look for tomatoes that are still on the vine. Tomatoes continue to ripen after being harvested, and then they are connected to the vine will retain much of their nutritional value.


Look for berries with full color because unlike tomatoes, they do not continue to ripen once they’ve been harvested. Purchase berries at their best color and wash thoroughly just before you are ready to eat them. Berries, especially strawberries, tend to soak-up things easily like water — and pesticides. Ask the vendor if they used spray when growing their strawberries, and try to stick with organic.


Examine the stem when choosing a head of lettuce. If the stem is brown, it’s not fresh. Also try to find heads of lettuce that have retained their outer leaves. Farmers will sometimes remove outer leaves to hide signs of aging.


Go early to beat the rush and to receive first choice of the freshest picks. Often times, popular items go first. If you are interested in good discounts, go towards the end of the day when prices tend to drop. Just be prepared in case your favorite item has been cleared out by the morning crowd.


Don’t be afraid to ask vendors about their items. Searching for produce that is free from pesticides and additives is the best way to go. You may consider asking if their produce was sprayed, when it was harvested and what they believe sets their produce apart from the rest.

Call Handheld Today for Fresh, Local Catering in the Bay Area

Visiting the farmer’s market can be an enjoyable experience and is one of the best ways to purchase fresh, seasonal and local produce that has great nutritional value. Companies that offer the best catering in the Bay Area will provide a menu that is full of fresh and locally grown menu options.

To learn more about Handheld Catering’s “Farm to Fork” approach, and our catering services, call (408) 692-4782 today!