I thought I might fly the idea here of removing this tag entirely and allowing the specific tag for the food item to do the work.
For example, the question "How do you tell when a melon is ripe?" could be simply tagged melon. Should the question be specific to a type of melon, like watermelon, the general tag should still suffice.
Similarly, a question like "How do I pick a good lobster at the market?" could be tagged lobster.
The question to me is, is it necessary to ask the entire question using tags? Having a question tagged both melon and ingredient-selection (or whatever substitute we come up with) really makes the rest of the question unnecessary, as these questions are generally quite simple.
It's difficult to know what search terms someone will use when here, but it would make sense that someone trying to ask a question about melon ripeness will use melon as a search term (assuming they search at all)... and since we can't seem to find a good term that's self explanatory, it seems unlikely that someone searching for "ripeness" will come up with ingredient-selection or any other potential option we think up here.
I suppose that if we wanted to limit this to produce, we could simply use the existing tag ripe or change it to ripeness but this removes the possibility of wider use for products that either don't ripen or that you don't want to have ripen.