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Jun 24, 2009 09:05 AM

How Do You Store Raspberries Short-Term?

I know how to freeze delicate berries like raspberries(place on sheet pan lined with parchment and freeze-then store in baggies).
I had 2 beautiful boxes of raspberries from the farmers market go bad overnight on my counter recently. I was incredibly bummed.
So, my question is-how do you store raspberries short term? When left out on the counter, they seem to develop mold very quickly.
Do you store them in their market box? Do you spread them out because they're so delicate? How long do you leave them out? Do you place them in the fridge immediately? Do you cover them? Store in tupperware or the like? Place a paper towel in the container?

Thanks all!!

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  1. I put raspberries into a glass jar with the lid on and into the fridge. Don't wash them first!! This was a tip from either RW orange or Ruth Lafler (IIRC...). Works great on other delicate berries, too. adam

    5 Replies
    1. re: adamshoe

      That was from rworange - and it really works!

      1. re: Cookiefiend

        Yup. RWorange did a whole series of controlled experiments with fruit in glass jars that convinced me. Then my own experience convinced me. It has something to do with the respiration of the fruit which is why is has to be nonpermeable glass containers and not plastic.

        Here's one of many threads on the subject, which includes some links to the science behind it:

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Very interesting. Ya never know what you're going to learn from CH!

        1. I keep them in their container until I wash them (I know you're not supposed to wash ahead but they never last more than a day or two around here and I've never had a problem with mold.) After they're washed I store in a ziploc with a papertowel, which I change if it gets soaked through.

          1. Thanks! A glass jar...never would have thought of that. I have several large canning jars...

            2 Replies
            1. re: monavano

              I am also a glass jar convert. I do also usually toss a loosely wadded up paper towel into the jar. It seems to absorb any excess moisture. I check daily and replace if it is really damp.

              1. re: torty

                Adding my vote to the glass jar PLUS the paper towels. I use one on the bottom and another atop the berries and check 'em and change 'em daily if damp. Raspberries are the biggest challenge, but this works with strawberries and blueberries as well. AND IT REALLY WORKS for several days. Blueberries, occasionally, a week.

            2. You want to avoid trapping them in humidity.

              Cooks Illustrated, after testing a variety of widely touted solutions, recommended the following - the vinegar solution helps reduce the activity of bioorganisms...

              Pick out and discard the softest ones, and give the rest a quick soak in bowl with a solution of 3 cups water and 1 cup distilled white vinegar. Drain and spin gently dry in a paper-towel lined salad spinner for 15 seconds. Store, loosely covered, in a container lined with paper towels.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Karl S

                3:1 solution? Holy Carp! I know their test kitchen people; I'm going to look into this further. I like the line salad spinner idea, but a hair dryer on cool setting would work best. Or you could just rinse and eat them.

                1. re: almansa

                  Well, it's a little counterintuitive, because as a gardener, I tend to think of alkali as better mold-inhibitors than acids - the classic low-tech spray to discourage mold on vegetable plants being some baking soda in water with a touch of oil to create an emulsion. But since you don't want to expose delicate fruits to alkali (which tenderize - aka break down the cell walls...), I guess the acid approach is next best.

              2. Is it common for raspberries to develop mold very quickly? I had never really thought about it before and always just automatically put them in the fridge until last Saturday when I, too, got some from the farmers market in the morning and when I went to use them in the evening, they were completely moldy. Was this completely my fault or would it be worth mentioning to the stand where I got them?

                6 Replies
                1. re: adrienne156

                  They shouldn't mold quite that fast -- if these were expensive farmers market berries, I'd complain.

                  But yes, raspberries are particularly susceptible to mold, and one moldy berry will contaminate the whole basket pretty quickly. It really is best to take them out of the basket and check for any bad ones -- I think just the process of letting to air circulate through them is probably helpful in slowing the development of the mold.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    I don't know about that. We have a lot of raspberry bushes in our yard & can't seem to use the berries up fast enough before they mold. We've been putting them in an open plastic container, but after reading the posts above, I'm going to try glass. An alternative is to try to make something with the perries that will have a longer shelf life. Last year I made a concentrated sauce that I kept in the freezer. It made very nice raspberry mojitos.

                  2. re: adrienne156

                    6 days is a long time to store local raspberries... I'd take the blame on that one if I were you. Supermarket berries might fare a bit better, but when you buy local, you are getting produce that isn't selected for its ability to travel or keep for long.

                    1. re: Chris VR

                      adrienne bought and ate the berries the same day.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        whoops, a total misread on my part. Sorry about that. In that case, definitely something that sould be mentioned to the farmer. I've never seen berries go from no mold showing to full on completely moldy in just the space of a day.

                        1. re: Chris VR

                          Yeah, it's never happened to me either.

                          The berries were probably molding toward the middle of the basket when I bought them. They were very ripe and it was a hot day -- if I hadn't planned on using them that day, I probably wouldn't have bought them.

                          Thanks Ruth and Pika.