Thursday, June 4, 2009

I love eating handfuls of Raspberries when they're picked fresh. Sometimes I can eat a couple of pounds a day. I'm skinny by the way.

Raspberries can create real problems for retailers because even fresh picked fruit can spoil in a day if they are not handled properly. Fruit needs to be picked early in the day before it becomes too hot (under 28 C./80 F.) or the fruit just melts. Forced Air Cooling (giant fans sucking the hot air out of the room and forcing back cold air) will bring down their core temperature and extend their shelf-life.

Berries picked after a rain are susceptible to white mold and mold can appear on fruit the very next day. Keep this in mind when you are buying raspberries or blackberries. Always check the berries freshness by picking up the berry container and turning it upside down (hold your hand over the top of the container so the fruit doesn't fall out) and make sure there is no juice running out. If there is a tissue pad on the bottom it should be clean and not stained red. Shake the container gently and if any berries are stuck together this means mold is present. Look inside the berries for caterpillars (or don't if you want the extra protein).

The best berries are the size of cherries and hard to find, sometimes you have to shop early for the best fruit (if it is even available in your maket). Usually big fruit is in high demand so enjoy it whenever you can.

Finding a couple of raspberries with defects is normal, don't let that stop you from enjoying them unless you see mold. Raspberries should be eaten within 2 days of purchase.

There are so many varieties available today, "try before you buy" is always the best rule of thumb. Two of the best labels in supermarkets are "Driscoll" and "Wellpict".


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