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What’s Up With The Strawberries From California?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

With strawberries in full swing, I’ve been buying Cali berries for the past couple of weeks, just about every other day.

Here’s the thing:

The smell A~MAZ~ING

They look fairly descent when I first purchase them at the green grocer

… and then, here’s the kicker:

The next morning, they majority of them have dark/black blotches on them and turn soft pretty fast.

post #2 of 19

They are RIPE when you got them? Right on that verge of spoiling? Use them immediately?

post #3 of 19

What really irritates me is the lack of TLC shown to produce ( and strawberries are so delicate) grown and harvested by Big Farm ( uh oh here she goes again eek.gif)

One tiny bruise (and I admit it is impossible to not damage the occ piece) combined with bacteria from someones hand /under nail and there you go....

It only takes one micro bad spot and you may as well trash the whole carton.

At the purchase point stay away from the fruits that are not displayed under refrigeration.

Buy and use the same day.

I have been known to open a few cartons and cherry (lol) pick the ones that are a rich red without visible signs of spoilage (yes I weigh afterward...I am not a thief...just don't pay $$$ for poor quality food. Peaches and grapes...plums...I check them all)

If they are really outstanding I try to get back to the store and buy a few lbs to freeze.

 

mimi

 

OBTW...pay close attention to the FDA recall lists.

I get almost daily emails with one or another product that has been deemed unsafe for consumption.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

yup shores, we gobble them babies up as fast as we can, that's one of the reasons that I've been buying a pint pretty much every other day, get 'em while ya' can, right?

 

... and Mimi (that's what the grandnephews call me), I wish I could 'cherry-pick' em ... it's kinda' like the Italian green grocers back East, not a good idea to do that here

 

I guess, what I was thinking is that in the years gone by (all of 5 that we've been here, in Hawaii, FORGET ABOUT IT! No berries) the strawberries weren't like this.  It almost seems almost like, I don't know, they got too much water just before pickin' just to get them to plump up, and then go south ???

post #5 of 19

Not to be offensive flipflop but I'd wager 50.00 that the spoilage occurring in strawberries has little to nothing to do with the bacteria found under our fingernails. Instead typical fungi that break down such foods that are present from the day they are picked.

 

Edit: Kgirl.. look up strawberry leaf spot .. it also presents as black spots on the berries.. it's also a fungus

post #6 of 19

Biggest mistake people make is rinsing the berries before going into fridge. Berries should be as dry as possible as when moist they are perfect breeding area for bacteria and mold growth

    Refrigeration also makes them mold if it is a damp type unit or enviorment. Ideal temp for storage 37 to 39 . If they start to get soft on you take stem off and freeze, they can be salvaged for strawberry sauce when you have built up enough of them.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #7 of 19

K-Girl, I'm very lucky to live near a few strawberry growers, so mine are always fully ripened, handpicked in the morning and sold the very same day. Strawberries normally don't belong in the fridge, but I have very good experience in packing them in newspaper before they go in the fridge in hot periods or in my cellar if it's a colder period!

If they're in a plastic package which supermarkets often use, remove it. Now simply take a stack of a few newspaper sheets and pack the whole carton with strawberries tightly in it. The more care you take in the packing, the better. The newspaper protects from humidity in the fridge ànd inside the package. This will keep them well for at least a few days.

 

It's something I use for fresh asparagus as well to keep them fresh and crunchy before they get cooked.

post #8 of 19

Even here, in so cal, it's hit and miss with strawberries.  They are sold here in clam shells. I carefully look them over before purchasing. They should not have black splotches a day later.  Check the temp in your fridge to be sure it's cold enough.  Where in the fridge are you storing them?  Mine are good refrigerated up to three days.  I love strawberries.  Have any new ideas on using them?

post #9 of 19

Oh how I wish I could cherry pick my berries. Most markets around me like to pre package fruit and veggies because that way they can sell them just prior to spoilage. Even the farmers market sells pints of fruit already assembled, but since I know the owner they let me choose. 

 

@Chris. Wha? I put asparagus in about an inch of water in a tall quart container in the fridge and they keep fresh and crunchy for a week - they usually don't last that long anyway. 

post #10 of 19
I was getting the Hood strawberries from Oregon here until last week, picked at their peak sold the next day.
They taste like what you would envision a strawberry should, very juicy.
Now they have raspberries, blueberries & blackberries that are as big as your thumb, all perfectly ripe & sweet.
http://www.oregon-strawberries.org/varieties.html
post #11 of 19

Well Jake...I talked to a few produce guys in my area and they said it was perfectly ok to open up those clamshells and choose what you want (I just load up a produce bag).

Just be respectful to the display and leave the containers open so they can dispose of the "bad" stuff when they make their hourly checks.

Be honest and keep the weight the same as the 'shell packs and everyone is happy.

They offer grapes in ziplocks and as they are priced per lb (and we could never eat 5 lbs before it went bad) and shoppers are encouraged to choose the amt they want and it is weighed at checkout.

I don't open things like huge pre bagged potatoes or the clam shelled tomatoes ( I can choose stuff like that piece by piece) and even for me that is going a bit far.

We try to hit the weekend farmer's markets for our needs but sometimes just cannot get to one or I am late and there is nothing left.

 

The Georgia peaches are almost ready (produce friend at Sam's Club texted me today).

As I buy so many ( can and freeze and grill them as well as eat right out of hand, stooped over to let the juices run down my arm) the manager allows me to go in the walk in and choose what I want.

No he doesn't hold back any for me as that is against their regs.

If I don't show they keep the front well stocked and if any are left then I am welcome to load up.

 

Thanks for the micro biology lesson eastshores....I can rest easy now that I know what makes all that rot and mold.

So are you saying if there is just a small bruise I can cut it away and not worry about making someone sick?

 

mimi

 

ed..I know to not wash the berries (once home) until prepping just before using (same day unless making jam) but the worst looking examples are always in those cartons found on the aisle displays (right next to that toxic looking red gel used for pie making)  and that area is never refrigerated.

 

m.


Edited by flipflopgirl - 7/7/13 at 6:58am
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake t buds View Post

Oh how I wish I could cherry pick my berries. Most markets around me like to pre package fruit and veggies because that way they can sell them just prior to spoilage. Even the farmers market sells pints of fruit already assembled, but since I know the owner they let me choose. 

 

@Chris. Wha? I put asparagus in about an inch of water in a tall quart container in the fridge and they keep fresh and crunchy for a week - they usually don't last that long anyway. 

We have 2 large fruitfarms in the neighbourhood that allow people to pick their own fruit, mostly berries. They give you a small bucket and it's up to you. You pay what you picked but it's not necessarely cheaper than supermarkets. It sure is superfresh and it's the nicest day out to do in summer as part of a bicycle trip, pick your own fruit and have a chat with other visitors and... try to get home with the bags undamaged.

 

I never keep asparagus longer than 1 day in the fridge. Putting them shortly in cold water in the fridge sure may help to re-animate asparagus that aren't that fresh any more. I never did it but I used that method to revive some radishes. It's incredible, the one day they are all soft and shrunken, the next day they are crunchy as freshly picked ones after an icy bath.

post #13 of 19

We have a couple of those within "Sunday" driving distance.

Perfectly ripe and ready to be plucked.

They should weigh me (before and after) as well as the baskets, lol

A text goes out when something is almost ready, only open during the weekend hours...a great thing to do with the kids (petting zoo at one picnic areas at both)

Jams and baked goods available as well as homemade ice cream with perfectly ripe fruit.

The prices reflect those of an entertainment experience but it is great to get out of town.....

 

mimi

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

this is what the strawberries look like just one day after bringing them home from the green grocer

they don't look like this when I buy them, or I won't

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

this is what the strawberries look like just one day after bringing them home from the green grocer

they don't look like this when I buy them, or I won't

Thanks for posting the pic.  Black spots, as I understand it, are a sign of fungus. If the same problem keeps recurring, I would shop elsewhere.


Edited by Cerise - 7/10/13 at 2:26pm
post #16 of 19

Cut out the bad spot and into a ziplock in the freezer. When I have a bag full I cook down for strawberry sauce for ice cream or pancakes.

post #17 of 19

What's up with the Cali berries ?

 

 Kgirl, I have to send you some Quebec strawberries, hand picked the other day !

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Here's the funny thing, the black spots are NOT spoiled spots.  The flesh is fine under these spots.

 

And no, I do not put any of the berries in the 'fridge, I thought that I wasn't suppose to.

 

I don't wash them until we are just about to eat them.

 

Petals, those Canadian strawberries look WAY better than any I've been seeing lately here in Arizona that came from California.

 

Also, it doesn't matter where I purchase strawberries, it's the same the day after I bring them home...

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
...so here we are in Phoenix for a short stay-cay and the berries are the same here!
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