Culinary Conundrum Series: The Case of the Injured Apple
Most everyone has heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But, what happens if the apple has a brown spot or two? Will it still keep the doctor away? If you eat the injured apple will you then have to go to the doctor because the brown spot makes you sick?! Well…maybe that is somewhat extreme! But it does bring up an important question: where do you stand when it comes to the brown spot? Do you just dig in eating the entire apple, brown spot and all? Do you carefully bite around the brown spots? Or do you say out, out damn spot!?
This apple issue was something we wondered about and thought was a great addition to our culinary conundrum series, so we turned to the experts, yet again, to see what they had to say. The answers may surprise you…or maybe not!
As long as the rest of the apple isn't bad or mealy, we'll just cut it out. We try not to throw away food if we can avoid it! – Editors at Food52
Cut out the brown spot, eat the rest. – Melissa Clark, food columnist for The New York Times and cookbook author
I always cut it out. – Janice Bissex, Dietitian and one of the Mom’s behind Meal Makeover Moms
I always cut it out. I’m afraid I grew up in New England and learned some of those thrifty Yankee habits from my Mom. I never throw anything away if I don’t have to. I draw the line at brown spots in apples. – Joan Weir, chef, restaurateur and cookbook author
In many whole fruits and vegetables, I cut out the spot, as it's not a sign of food safety concerns, but of a bruise or ripening. I believe we waste far too much food in our country. However, other items that appear to be "past their prime" such as green onions and lettuce I do discard, as I believe that it could be a potential safety concern--as well as provide a bad taste. – Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian
Cut it out and keep going. Tossing it out would be so wasteful. Apples can bruise easily, so a brown spot doesn’t necessarily indicate freshness. Ditto for avocados, bananas, potatoes, you name it. Though, if I see mold on something, I toss the entire piece. I don’t mess around with mold. – Michelle Dudash, Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist and Chef Consultant
It depends on what the rest of the apple looks like. If it's a beautiful apple with just one brown spot, I'll cut it out. – Ana Sortun, chef, restaurateur and cookbook author