My friend Rhonda & I were discussing spring produce, how delicate and fresh it all seems to be compared to fruits and vegetables from other seasons. We agreed that berries especially are delicious, but they’re also kind of delicate. Raspberries in particular seem like they can mold before you even get them home from the market. There’s nothing more tragic than paying $4 for a pint of local raspberries, only to look in the fridge the next day and find fuzzy mold growing on their insides.
Rhonda had just read that a vinegar mixture kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit. You swirl them with a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider) and ten parts water, drain, then pop in the fridge. Raspberries were said to last a week or more and strawberries almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft.
So, of course, I had to try it. I picked up a beautiful basket of fragrant ripe raspberries from the farmers market and set out 4 small ramekins:
Second ramekin: 5 raspberries rinsed in water
Third ramekin: 5 raspberries rinsed in vinegar mixture
Fourth ramekin: 5 raspberries rinsed in vinegar mixture, then water
So I checked my ramekins (kept in the fridge) every day, day 5, day 8, still no mold. I had never had raspberries last this long! Finally on day 10 there was a little bit of mold inside the Second ramekin of raspberries, rinsed in water, and the Fourth ramekin of raspberries, rinsed in vinegar mixture then water.
My first conclusion is that the trick is to separate the raspberries on a flat surface such as a pie dish. The crowding seems to activate mold growth. My second conclusion is that water seems to be a culprit in both the mold cases, and that the vinegar solution isn’t as important as preventing the crowding of those beautiful berries.
So it’s Springtime. Go enjoy the beautiful berries while you can.
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