Okra, a high-fibre vegetable that tastes like a mix of asparagus and eggplant, originated in Africa. Today, it's a staple in Southern cooking and found in dishes like gumbo. When shopping for okra, look for green, crisp pods that are less than three inches long. Walk past any that are discoloured or look dry. Okra goes bad quickly, so when you bring it home, watch carefully for any changes.
Store okra loosely in a paper bag or a plastic bag with holes in it. Keep it in the refrigerator crisper for no more than three or four days. Don't wash it or trim the pods until you're ready to use.
Look at the okra. If there is mould, or the entire pod becomes dark, it has gone bad. If the tips of the okra have a slight discolouration you need to use it quickly.
Feel the okra. If wet or slimy, it's spoiled and needs to be thrown out. When you cook okra it may become sticky or slimy -- but it shouldn't be slimy when stored as a whole pod.