Guinea-fowl are judged like poultry, but require hanging for some time.
Fish in good condition usually is firm and elastic to the touch, eyes bright and prominent, gills fresh and rosy. If the fish is flabby, with sunken eyes, it either is stale or out of condition.
Salmon should have a small head and tail, full thick shoulders, clean silvery scales, and its flesh of a rich yellowish pink. When quite fresh there is a creamy curd between the flakes, which are stiff and hard; but if kept this melts, softening the flesh and rendering it richer, but at the same time less digestible.
Trout, in spite of the difference in size, may be judged by the same rule as salmon. However, it will not bear keeping, deteriorating rapidly.
Cod, unlike salmon, should have a large head and thick shoulders; the flesh being white and clear, and separating easily into large flakes, the skin clean and silvery. Most people consider cod improves by being kept for a day or two and very slightly salted.
Herrings must be absolutely fresh to be good, and when in this state their scales shine like silver. If kept over long their eyes become suffused with blood.
Mackerel also must be quite fresh. They never should be bought if either out of condition or season. If fresh they are peculiarly beautiful fish, their backs of an iridescent blue green barred with black, and their bellies of a pearly whiteness.
Smelts should be stiff and silvery, with a delicate perfume faintly suggestive of cucumber.
Halibut is a wholesome fish. It should be middling size, thick and of a white color.
Lobsters, Crabs, Prawns, and Shrimps are stiff, and with the tails tightly pressed against the body. With the former, weight is a great guide, as the heavier they are the better; but if there be the least sign of wateriness, they should be rejected at once.
Green vegetables always are at their best when cheapest and most plentiful. Out of season they never have the same flavor, however well they may be grown. Excepting artichokes, all summer vegetables, as lettuce, peas, beans, and asparagus should be cooked as soon as possible after gathering. The freshness of most vegetables may be ascertained easily by taking a leaf or a pod between the fingers. If fresh this will snap off short and crisp, while if stale it will be limp and soft. It is an economy to buy winter vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, celery, and potatoes in large quantities, if you have storage room, as if buried in sand and kept from the frost they may be kept a considerable time. Onions should be kept hung up in a cool, dry place. If allowed to sprout the flavor becomes rank and coarse.