Kitchen hint: Prevent fresh berries from molding


by Catherine Haug, July 8, 2012; photo from Wikipedia

Fran sent me this hint, that is so pertinent at this time of the year when berries are ripening. If you have helpful kitchen hints, send them to me and I’ll publish them (if you request, I will not mention your name). I’ve created a new category (topic) called ‘kitchen hints‘ for these.

Preventing berry mold

Berries 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… Now with fresh berries just starting to hit farmers markets, here’s how to keep them fresh!

Wash them with vinegar! Raspberries will last a week or more; strawberries for almost two weeks.When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of

  • one part vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar)
  • ten parts water

Carefully dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around. Drain, rinse if you want (though the mixture is so diluted you can’t taste the vinegar), and pop in the fridge. The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit, and voila!

Here are some variations on this method:

  • and use same ratio vinegar to water
  • uses 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water, and spins the rinsed berries in a salad spinner with paper towels. I would advise rinsing with pure water after the vinegar wash to remove any residual vinegar, before spinning dry.

Berry Basket

Storage after rinsing:

Most sites recommend storing in plastic, but I don’t recommend this. If your berries came in a pulp-paper basket (photo, left, from, store them in that, covered with a cloth. The basket will absorb any excess moisture, thus inhibiting new mold growth, whereas plastic retains moisture which attracts mold. If your berries didn’t come in one of those baskets, put your berries in a used egg carton. Or line a bowl with a cloth or paper napkin, then add berries and cover with a cloth.

If you must use plastic, cut some holes in the container so air can circulate to remove moisture.


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