The new berry varieties and how to keep berries fresh longer

Mixed berries

The Wall Street Journal just ran an interesting story on all the new berry varieties that are gaining market acceptance. Called America's Next Top Super Berry , the Journal notes that with blueberries gaining major kudos for health claims, all berries have benefited from the same claims: "In the past two years, weekly same-store supermarket sales of berries have risen 18%, according to Nielsen, despite an average 4% rise in retail prices for the berries in the same period. Sales of raspberries rose 31%, and blackberries and blueberries 27% and 25%, respectively. Strawberries' respectable 11% increase is actually a drag on growth."

Among the new fashionable berries to keep an eye out for are aronia (aka chokeberry), acai (Brazilian and with alleged anti-aging properties), black raspberries (used in cancer research), tart berries like goji and bilberries, lallieberries (a hybrid cross of loganberry and youngberry), and barberries (known in Persian cuisines). 

While many of these berries are becoming familiar in their dried form, if you do buy fresh berries, they will carry a premium cost - due to high labor costs given their small size and high transportation costs given their fragility. So keeping them fresh longer is well worth the effort. Food52 has some good advice in How to Keep Berries Fresh for Longer. Full details are given in the article - the two key pieces of advice are to wash them in a solution of vinegar and water to remove any mold, rinse and dry thoroughly, and then store in a partially open container lined with paper towels.

Of course that assumes they won't all be eaten in a day or two - unlikely in our house.

1 Comment

  • rivergait  on  7/10/2013 at 12:05 PM

    I buy local (far northern CA) berries in season, resorting to strawberries from my old hometown in coastal California only when I have to. I don't wash/wet them, but just gently dump into a Foodsaver canister. Vacuum seal, and they will last perfectly for up to 3 weeks...re-vacuum everytime they're opened. BTW, the picture illustrating this berry article shows raspberries picked WAY TOO EARLY. Maybe necessary for a pretty photo, but ripe rasps should fall off the plant, leaving the core behind (which is one reason they are the most perishable variety).

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