Quiz: Which food is in season?

Quiz: Which food is in season?
Image: Hou/Moment Open/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Global markets have made some strictly seasonal foods available year-round. But are berries really at their prime in the winter? Are pumpkins and apples at their best outside of the autumn months? See whether your knowledge of these foods is on target.
Let's say you want to make a rhubarb pie. You know you'll need to buy a few stalks for the recipe, but which month kicks off this crop's peak for harvest outdoors?
December
April
Rhubarb is one of the few vegetables that's ready to go in the spring. In the Northern Hemisphere, this tart and tangy crop is typically harvested between April and June.
August

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Though apples are produced globally year-round, when are the majority of varieties harvested in the U.S.?
in the summer
in the fall
Fall is prime apple season, with numerous tasty ciders, pies and festive treats to prove it.
in the spring

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What is a "cold frame"?
an outdoor square box that keeps crops cool in the heat of summer
an outdoor square box that keeps crops warm during the winter freeze
Cold frames and hot beds allow gardeners to keep their plants alive and productive throughout the winter, defying cold conditions Mother Nature would have in store.
an indoor box that keeps crops cool in the heat of summer

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When is it safe to eat shellfish?
in months with the letter 'r'
in months without the letter 'r'
Neither -- toxicity in shellfish depends largely on what the shellfish eat and are exposed to.
A longtime myth warns shellfish lovers to give up their favorite foods during months without the letter "r" in their names, but there's little evidence to support that wild shellfish are more toxic during these times. Algal blooms and pollution are more likely to blame, regardless of the time of year. Don't fret just yet -- the majority of shellfish served at restaurants are produced commercially in controlled environments.

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Which of the following is NOT a readily available fruit for a hot summer day?
apricots
strawberries
pumpkins
Pumpkins are fruits, but not summer ones. You'll have to wait until your autumn pumpkin patch trips to search for this seasonal gourd.

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When is the best time of the year to grow peanuts?
between April and June
These nitrogen fixers aren't quite ready until April, May and June. Just in time for baseball season, of course.
between July and September
between October and December

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What is a popular method used to preserve seasonal foods?
freezing
canning
both, plus many more
Your seasonal favorites can last throughout the year if they're preserved properly. Freezing, canning, curing, drying, fermenting and pickling will do the job, but because bacteria can infect foods that aren’t properly preserved, follow food-safety instructions to the letter.

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Which would NOT make seasonal factors less of a concern for farmers?
greenhouses
cross-breeding methods
climate variability
Changing climates can put a damper on crop production, so it's good to know what type of temperatures to expect.

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Ripe fruits and vegetables are at their best when in season. But which fruit shouldn't be eaten at all before it's ripe?
Ackee fruits
Eating Ackee fruit before it's ripe or eating its ripe seeds or rind can cause serious illness and even death. The plant, which is common in West Africa and parts of the Caribbean, is not a fruit that's safe to try out of season.
bananas
grapes

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Growing summer fruits in one place might not be possible in another. What causes the seasonal differences between the Northern and Southern hemispheres?
the elliptical orbit of the Earth
the tilt of the Earth's rotational axis
The 23.45-degree tilt of the Earth's rotational axis creates the seasons in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Earth's proximity to the moon

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Which of the following grows best in warm weather?
carrots
watermelon
Carrot and cabbage plants do well in colder weather, but a popular summertime favorite, the watermelon, grows best in warmer climates.
cabbage

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Your morning cup of joe requires more work than you'd think. Which of the following ruins the production of the coffee bean?
temperatures greater than 70 degrees Fahrenheit
partial shade
frost
Coffee beans (or seeds) have many requirements, but anytime an Arabica crop frosts over, it's unlikely to survive to star in your morning routine.

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Some crops can survive being grown out of season, but they can fall victim to which of these threats?
wet and humid weather, which leaves crops susceptible to disease
an increased number of insects
Both answers are right.
No wonder farmers don't bother growing most crops out of their season -- especially when they're vulnerable to disease and insects.

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When are beets NOT typically grown?
winter
spring
These deep red veggies are hardy survivors throughout the year, but aren't usually in season during the spring months.
summer

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Summer is berry-picking season for most, but which fleshy fruit is in its prime at that time, too?
the grape
the pear
the peach
Among this delicious bunch, only the peach is sweet enough for the summertime. You can find pears and grapes in the fall and winter.

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When should most seasonal herbs be planted?
in the winter
in the spring
Plan on waiting until after the spring thaw to sow your herb seeds. Most herbs will be ready for dishes by summer.
in the summer

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Which small snack food is dormant from November to March?
the pistachio nut
Mandarins and carrots seem to get by in cooler weather, but the pistachio nut tree is dormant for the winter months.
the mandarin orange
the carrot

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What's an advantage to eating foods in season?
That's when they taste their best.
They're cheaper in season.
Both are true.
Treating your taste buds and your wallet are advantages of eating foods in season.

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What green vegetable has plenty of flavor during the cold months (unlike most)?
spinach
kale
If you're yearning for some green in your diet when everything else has succumbed to frost, go for some kale.
cabbage

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Where's the best place to store ripe tomatoes once you've washed and dried them?
in a bowl or basket on the kitchen counter
Although it's customary in the U.S. to stash tomatoes in the fridge, storing your ripe tomatoes in cold temperatures can kill the flavor. Unless you need to keep them for several days, let your tomatoes brighten up your kitchen countertop.
in the refrigerator
Neither answer is correct

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You Got:
/20
Hou/Moment Open/Getty Images

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