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THIS MONTH IN THE delicious. KITCHEN...

As the delicious. food team cook and test recipes, there’s constant tinkering and fervent discussion: timesaving ideas; new tricks we’ve heard of; some technique we’ve dreamed up and want to try… Then there are the questions and input we get from colleagues as they come to see what’s cooking. On these pages, our aim (with help from our regular experts) is to reproduce that test kitchen atmosphere, sharing the most useful ideas and tips we’ve discovered. It’s cookery gold!

HOW TO TELL…

WHEN AN AVOCADO IS RIPE

Remove the small stalk at the narrow end and check the colour underneath:

• GREEN Perfectly ripe

• PALE YELLOW Not quite ready (let it ripen a little longer)

• BLACK Overripe – you may be able to salvage some of the flesh for guacamole, if you’re handy with a teaspoon.

True or false?

THE CLAIM

YOU SHOULD AVOID SHELLFISH DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS FALSE The old rule says you should eat shellfish only when there’s an ‘R’ in the month. The rule is, in part, down to quality: shellfish aren’t generally at their best in summer. They spawn as the weather warms up, which has an adverse effect on their texture and flavour – oysters can be milky and soft, while mussels and clams will have a lower meat content. But, apart from our round-shelled native oysters (which, unlike fast-growing rock/pacific oysters, can’t legally be harvested in summer to help preserve stock levels), most shellfish are available all year round.

In terms of food safety, there’s little reason to avoid shellfish in the warmer months. Today’s farmed and harvested wild shellfish are rigorously monitored. For example, if an algal bloom is brought on by hot weather, which can create dangerous toxins in shellfish, harvesting is prohibited. Only if you forage your own shellfish are toxins a potential risk.

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About Delicious Magazine

This month in delicious. we’re celebrating summer with £12,000+ prize giveaway, the ultimate kebabs, a brilliant Byron burger as well as a street party fit for a queen. Elsewhere Eric Lanlard serves up a new scone for Wimbledon, Sophie Michell shares healthy recipes, and Theo Randall gives a risotto masterclass. And don’t miss how to upgrade your cooking with fresh herbs. Plus there’s recipes to save time and money, 16 pages of stunning cake recipes and more.
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