Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vinegar Rinse: Keeping Berries Fresh

Raspberries in their vinegar rinse...
I have a local friend who has a large patch of raspberries. She calls me as soon as they start to ripen. I usually arrive within a day or so and pick my fill. My preference is to eat the berries fresh, sometimes with a dab of whipped cream. However, raspberries (and strawberries) have an unfortunate habit of molding within a day or two, so I usually wind up freezing about half the fruit. This is fine for jam, but it changes the texture of the berries, so I often don't enjoy eating them plain after the first day.

Last year, I read that mold can be retarded if the berries are washed in a dilute solution of vinegar and water. However, I didn't have the courage to try it at the time. It sounded awful; I feared the vinegar would ruin the delicate taste of the berries. This year, though, since the season is just starting, I decided to try it. If one batch were ruined, well--there will be others.


I used a few tablespoons of cider vinegar in a large bowl of water. I started timidly, dumping in just a few berries. Then I drained and tasted them. They tasted just fine. So then I dumped in the whole batch. I swished them around for a minute and then drained them all, first in a sieve and then on paper towels. Into the fridge they went.  The next day they came out slime free and still tasting fresh and sweet.

I feel as if I've gotten away with something.

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