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    Melissa's Bows 'Great Book of Produce'

    Los Angeles -- Melissa's World Variety has uncovered another gem for retail produce managers with a new consumers' guidebook, "Great Book of Produce." As a powerful tool to help demystify the produce isle, the new book explores some 500 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, ranging from exotic and new to tried and true.

    Los Angeles -- Melissa's World Variety has uncovered another gem for retail produce managers with a new consumers' guidebook, "Great Book of Produce." As a powerful tool to help demystify the produce isle, the new book explores some 500 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, ranging from exotic and new to tried and true.

    "Consumers are faced with glorious displays of produce in the marketplace," said Robert Schueller, Melissa's spokesman. "Our new Great Book of Produce lets them know in down-to-earth language how each item looks, tastes and everything in between ... how to cut it up, how to store it and easy ways to serve it. Plus, it provides readers with complete information about when each item is available, both globally and domestically," Schueller noted.

    Moreover, he added, the book's easy-to-access format will quickly guide produce shoppers to specific data, "while beautiful color photographs will not only make them hungry, but will also help them immediately identify each fruit or vegetable. It's a reference book and a cookbook in one volume."

    Among the tips offered in the book:
    -- A thumbnail is the easiest way to access a lychee. Use nail to break shell around the "equator" of the fruit, remove top portion of shell, and squeeze remaining shell to pop fruit into open mouth. Rambutans and longans can be peeled in the same way.

    -- The easiest (and least messy) way to peel beets is to bake them first. Wrap in foil and bake until tender, then cool and slip off skin.

    -- Fresh ginger is often used unpeeled. But if peeling, scrape with back of a paring knife or bowl of a small spoon.

    -- A head of elephant garlic can be the size of a baseball. It has a mellow, no-burn flavor. If desired, you can roast a single clove.

    The book's co-creators include Melissa's Sharon Hernandez, corporate chef; Ida Rodriguez, the company's resident 'produce expert'; Schueller, and Melissa herself.

    Melissa's/World Variety Produce, Inc., a leading distributor of specialty fruits and vegetables in the United States, offers thousands of produce items found nationally in produce departments. For more information, contact Melissa's at 1.800.588.0151 or visit http://www.melissas.com.

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