Fruit Care & Storage
Sweet Red and Rainier Cherries
NEVER STORE YOUR CHERRIES IN A PLASTIC BAG!
Sweet red cherries: Depth of color is more important than the particular shade of red. Look for fruits with deep, dark saturation. If the stem is intact, a bright green color indicates freshness; however, a lack of stem doesn't necessary mean the cherries are low quality. Red cherries should also be firm. Wrinkling along the shoulders near the stem means the cherries have sat at room temperature; they may still be sweet, but are probably not at peak freshness.
Rainier cherries: Many people think these reddish-yellow cherries are underripe, but this is the natural color of Rainier cherries. They are also naturally less firm than red cherries. A red or pink blush indicates sun exposure, which leads to sugar accumulation. Brown flecks are generally not defects but a further indicator of sugar accumulation. (Red cherries have this, too, but it's less visible.)
How To Store
Cold storage is key to keeping cherries fresh. According to a cherry expert we spoke to, cherries can lose more quality in one hour at room temperature than a day in the refrigerator. Thus, get your cherries in the fridge as soon as possible.
Wash them with cold water just before eating. Avoid washing prior to storage, as moisture can be absorbed where the stem meets the fruit and lead to splits or spoilage.
Cherries can also be frozen. Pit them if you wish, or keep them whole with stems intact. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze until firm, and then place in a bag or container.
Fresh Florida Strawberries
Where and how you store your fresh Florida strawberries depends on when you plan to use them.
1. Right away? Store on the countertop.
If you plan to use strawberries the day you bring them home, there's no need to put them in the fridge. You can leave them at room temperature on the kitchen counter.
2. Tomorrow or the next day? Store in the refrigerator.
If you don't plan to eat your strawberries the day you bring them home, the best place for them is in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. It helps maintain humidity which keeps the berries from losing moisture and becoming dry.
Remove the berries from their original container, and store them whole and unwashed in a partially-closed container lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture, preferably in a single layer so they don't get crushed. Strawberries should last five to seven days when refrigerated properly.
3. This summer? Store in the freezer.
If you don't have plans to use strawberries within a few days of bringing them home, your best bet is to freeze them. Remove the stems, halve or slice them if you like, then freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid. Then put them in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag for storage. Strawberries are great for canning as well!
DO NOT REFRIGERATE for 24-48 hours
Nectarine Care Tips: Look for nectarines that have a sweet smell and feel slightly firm. BEFORE PUTTING THEM IN THE FRIDGE take your nectarines out of the box and spread them out on your counter or table at room temperature until they reach your desired level of ripeness (Approx. 1-3 days). Keep an eye on them as they begin to ripen. Once ripened put them in the refrigerator for up to one week. Look through your nectarines and remove any bruised or soft fruit for immediate use, just like you would do with bananas, apples, and other fruit. Let the nectarines air-dry if they are wet from condensation after coming out of our refrigerated truck. DO NOT wrap your fruit in plastic film or plastic bags because this will lead to your fruit becoming rotten, due to condensation from the fruit being trapped inside. Our nectarines are plump and delicious and we know you will love them as much as we do!
DO NOT wrap your fruit in plastic film or plastic bags because this will lead to your fruit becoming rotten, due to condensation from fruit being trapped inside.
DO NOT REFRIGERATE FOR 24-48 hours
Your Peaches are hand-picked by our grower and picker NEAR peak maturity. Our peaches need a little strength to make the ride all the way to you. Our peaches will finish ripening process at room temperature and should begin to soften in 24-48 hours.
Handle your peaches with care. Setting your box down gently is very important because peaches can bruise easily. BEFORE PUTTING THEM IN THE FRIDGE take your peaches out of the box and spread them out on your counter or table at room temperature until they reach your desired level of ripeness (approx. 1-3 days).
DO NOT wrap your fruit in plastic film or plastic bags because this will lead to your fruit becoming rotten, due to condensation from fruit being trapped inside. Our peaches are plump and delicious and we know you will love them as much as we do!
DO NOT REFRIGERATE!
PEARS RIPEN AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
A little known fact about the pear is that it is one of the few fruits that does not ripen on the tree. When left at room temperature, it slowly reaches a sweet and succulent maturity as it ripens from the inside out. Do not refrigerate your pears until they reach their desired ripeness. This process will take at least 2 to 4 days, but could take 7 to 10 days depending on the variety of pear.
Leave firm, unripe pears at room temperature so that they can ripen. Pears can be placed in a brown paper bag to speed up the ripening process. Check the neck for ripeness daily by applying gentle pressure to the neck (or stem end) of the pear with your thumb. If it yields to pressure, then it’s ripe and ready to eat.
Once pears reach their desired ripeness, they should be stored in the refridgerator and can be kept for up to two additional weeks.
Do not wrap your pears in plastic film or store them in plastic bags. Moisture trapped in the bag with your fruit enhances the rotting process and the quality of your pears will deteriorate quickly.