Strawberries: picking, selecting, storing
20 Oct 2013 06.40 am by Allripe team
Did you know that strawberries are the only fruit with their seeds on the outside? Well, they’re technically not “seeds” says Associate Professor Emeritus Federick B. Essig from the University of South Florida. He points out that they are actually tiny dried out fruits – this is because strawberries are members of the Rosaceae family and the way their flowers develop into “fruits” is a little different from fruit families we’re more familiar with like Citrus. But technicalities aside, we all know that strawberries are delicious (while still being relatively low in calories), packed with antioxidants and are high in Vitamin C and Manganese.
When picking strawberries choose ones that are completely red and are plump and firm to the touch. Their tender skin means that strawberries bruise easily, so use care when picking or handling them. According to the University of Illinois, the best method to pick strawberries is to grasp them on the stem about 2 cm (approx. 1 inch) above the fruit and then twist and pull. Plucking the strawberry this way will make sure you don’t damage the fruit. If you’re planning on eating your strawberries immediately you can also use the “capping” method. Here, grasp the strawberry on the stem right above the green “cap”. Then while still grasping the cap, use your other fingers to apply gentle pressure to the strawberry until it rolls off.
If you’re choosing strawberries from a greengrocer or supermarket, look for those with a shiny, red and full appearance. Fruit that shows white or green discolouration is not ripe and won’t make for good eating, while a dull or wrinkled appearance means the fruit is past its prime and may have started fermenting.
Strawberries have a very short lifespan even when refrigerated. If you’re planning on eating your strawberries within 24 hours it’s okay to leave them out on a shelf or on your kitchen counter. But if it’s any more time than that it’s best to keep them refrigerated, where they’ll last for up to a week. If you want to freeze strawberries and they are well packaged the University of California says they will keep for up to 2 years.
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