BEST FRESH PRODUCE (1999)
In freshness and selection, the Wedge's produce section holds its own vis-à-vis any grocery in town, but it's the staff that wins the top honors. Go ahead, try them--ask about any fruit or vegetable. A Wedge worker will have a ready answer and a paring knife to cut you a sample. You'll be expertly steered toward, depending on the season, the blood oranges--"at their peak this week"--the Striped German tomatoes--"fresh off the vine today," or the bunches of spinach--"prettiest I've seen." Credit the Wedge's willingness to pay a living wage, the siren song of a department stocked with (mostly) organic fruit and vegetables, or simply tradition. After all, these are the folks behind the co-op newsletter's "Professor Produce" column: Did you know that Dutch Trost tomatoes are grown tied to a special tomato truss or beam (thus the name)? That tangelos are hybrids of tangerines and pomelos, an extinct variety of grapefruit? Shop the Wedge; impress your friends.