Yesterday evening, I opened a pack of store-bought raspberries and started eating them right away. A couple of minutes later, my wife came in and asked me whether I had washed them. When I told her I hadn’t, she rolled her eyes and said I definitely should have.
I see her point but raspberries are so delicate, they soak up water and become soggy so fast that I don’t think it’s a good idea to wash them. Besides, I’m not sure that rinsing berries achieves much anyway. Most of whatever on them probably doesn’t go away with a bit of water. I do wash strawberries very lightly but raspberries ? They are even more fragile, so no.
Furthermore (and these points are going to sound silly to some, but they’re really important to me):
The first thing you experience when eating a really fresh raspberry, straight off the cane is the delicate slightly-downy-flocked exterior, which is then overwhelmed by a burst of tart, fruity juiciness - washing them destroys this - and it doesn’t completely come back even if the fruit is allowed to dry after washing.
The aroma of blackberries is partly on the outside of the skins. Pick a cupful of blackberries and smell them - the aroma is amazing. Wash them - they smell of nothing and whilst they are still tasty, they are no longer nearly so aromatic. Again, even allowing them to dry does not restore them to their prewashed state.
That’s fair enough - I have quite a developed technique for picking blackberries - above/beyond dog-pee height is standard. I also examine the stalk scar of each fruit before I drop it in the container - if it’s pale green, the fruit is usually good. If it’s brown or darkish (i.e. juice stained), it’s often a sign of insect larvae inside. I discard these fruits for the mice and birds to eat.
Also, if the drupelets are uneven in size, it’s another potential indicator of insect larvae.
I don’t object to consuming invertebrates on principle, but raspberry beetle maggots are not aesthetically appealing to me.
My wife is originally from China, and to her eating any unwashed fruit or vegetables is tantamount to dunking your head in a pool of raw sewage and pesticides. So if she’s around, everything gets washed.
If I’m eating berries off of a bush, I take my chances.
I rinse the ones I’m about to eat right before, but not the whole pint I purchased. It ruins them to get them wet more than a few minutes ahead of eating, but they can last up to 3 days in the fridge if left alone (also check for and remove any that look like they’ve got spots of mold before it spreads).
I don’t eat fruits or berries very often, but have always rinsed them (including apples, pears and grapes) before eating them. Why wouldn’t rinsing with water clean them of at least some dirt and pesticides?
I generally rinse off all produce whether it comes from my garden or not and regardless of the possibility that health risk may not be affected by such preparation (if I can slightly decrease the bacterial/pesticide load, good enough).
If you don’t actually squash the produce with a forceful jet of water, I fail to see what harm rinsing does. Supermarket produce has probably already undergone some sort of washing procedure.
And not to dispute the gustatory advice of the esteemed Mangetout, but I am unconvinced that tomato flavor and aroma are harmed by washing them. :dubious:
*I wash my prolific black raspberry crop before using/freezing them. I also frequently eat them off the vine. I can’t tell any taste/texture difference between washed and unwashed fresh fruit.
Pesticides are generally designed to be somewhat water-resistant, or they would wash off the first time it rains.
They’re also typically applied weeks or months (depending on crop) before harvest time, so they will have naturally subsided by the time of picking.
If there’s perceptible dirt on fruits and vegetables, then there’s something to wash off. In the case of root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, etc), if they’re caked with mud, they’ll need a scrub, but they can stand it.
In most other cases, if it looks clean, it’s as clean as it’s going to get - rinsing with water will have minimal effect on germs, and in some cases (raspberries in particular), there’s no kind of washing that is both a)useful and b)that the fruit will survive.
Not usually with raspberries - they’re often picked directly into the retail packs in the field.
<Shrug> if you grow tomatoes, try comparing the smell of one straight from the vine vs another that you have washed. There’s a layer of aromatic resin on the outside of the skin, exuded by the leaves of the plant. It’s one of the key things that makes tomatoes taste more ‘tomatoey’ when they are eaten straight off the plant.
Another way you can test this - smell your hands after picking tomatoes. There is flavour on the outside of the fruit, and you’ll get it all over your hands when you pick them.
Not sure about black raspberries - but with wild blackberries, there is a perfume to the unwashed, fresh-picked fruit that disappears when they are washed and does not return when they are dry. It’s also lost when they are cooked or juiced, so it’s sort of academic unless you are eating them whole and fresh.
The funny thing is, the maggots have got just enough ‘go’ in them to crawl right out of the fruit as it is cooked (or steeped in alcohol to make liqueur) - so you end up with blackberry-and-maggot pie.