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Fresh strawberries

By Ann | June 19, 2013

How to keep strawberries fresh. Post on

I’m frantically careening towards a deadline, but I just discovered the most amazing household tip and I wanted to share it right away…

This spring, I’ve been addicted to strawberries. But I’ve struggled to keep my berries fresh — which is frustrating when they’re €5.50/barquette. Well, a few weeks ago, my friend Kristin taught me a secret: Rinse them in a mixture of white vinegar and water.

How to keep strawberries fresh. Post on

I add a healthy splash of vinegar to a bowl of water, submerge my berries, drain, and store them in the fridge, in a little dish lined with a paper towel. Fear not, you CANNOT taste the vinegar — I swear — and the berries stay fresh for at least a week. Yesterday, I used a vinegar solution to wash some strawberries that were heading south and I swear they actually grew fresher overnight.

Why does it work? According to The Kitchn, the vinegar kills the bacteria and mold spores lingering on the fruit.

If you try it, I hope you’ll let me know if it works for you!

PS Speaking of strawberries, did you know there’s a French phrase “envie de fraises,” which is a little jokey way to refer to someone who’s pregnant?

Topics: A year in a French market: Spring, Uncategorized | 24 Comments »

24 Responses to “Fresh strawberries”

  1. Camille Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I’ve heard this before, actually applied to all berries, but have never tried it. Glad to know it works. And I’d never heard that expression before – cute!

  2. Lindsey Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    This is revelatory! Can’t wait to try it :)

  3. Lil Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Good to know this and thanks for sharing! I’ve been struggling to finish all the fresh fruits which I adore (and tend to overbuy), and strawberries are among those that seem to spoil quickly if I don’t eat them immediately.

  4. Loulou in France Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I’ve never heard of this, but am happy to try! Thanks for the great tip.

  5. Parisbreakfast Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 10:18 am

    This is fabulous info!
    Though I’ve been keeping mine out on the counter – no frigo and not even washing them and they seem to stay as long as I don’t gobble them down
    !they taste soooo much better than US berries even the so-called organic…

  6. Jill Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Great tip, Ann. Hadn’t heard this one before so must try it. In our household, though, they generally don’t last long since my kids eat them like bonbons. So, tu as envie des fraises? :-)

  7. Jo Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 10:59 am

    It does work! I use the vinegar technique to clean a fruits and veggies. It does a great job cleaning off organic matter that might be left on the fruit.

  8. Liz Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Such a useful tip!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write) Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Oh I can’t wait to try this with the barquettes of 5€50 strawberries I’ll be buying soon! It’s hard with just one person sometimes to eat them all before they spoil. Great tip!

  10. Anne Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Wait…weren’t you the one who was saying that food in Paris costs no more than in DC? Enjoy your investment.

  11. Emma Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I must try this, it sounds genius.

  12. Pat Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    What a fabulous tip–I’ll bet it works with other berries too! Thanks for sharing.

  13. jeanne Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks Ann. I will try this for sure. I love strawberries and I can only imagine that French strawberries are even more amazing. Sounds like a very healthy craving.

  14. Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I’ve done this with grapes, but will have to try with my strawberries! Thanks for the tip!

  15. Luisa Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Ann, thanks for sharing this tip. I hope all is well.

  16. Anita Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I learned this trick just this year and LOVE it. I use it on all fruits and it has made such a difference. I use a solution of about 1/2 cup of vinegar to 4 cups of water, then rinse with water after the fruit has soaked about 30 minutes.

  17. soozzie Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    I have always tried to keep my berries without rinsing until use, and not in the fridge. But a couple of years ago we were lucky enough to try some strawberries in Brittany. They were luscious, completely different from those we have in California. One day one they were a revelation. On day two, they were a mushy glob. So I will definitely try this tip. If it works for French berries, it ought to work here!

  18. Devra Long Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks Ann and Kristin; can’t wait to try. I always buy too many strawberries and when they get too ripe, I make smoothies.

  19. Susan Boehnstedt Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Works on lettuce too. Wash lettuce or spinach leaves in a tiny bit and see how long the lettuce keeps! Crips, fresh and no taste of vinegar either.

  20. Marge Graff Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    A little O.T. When we were living aboard a boat, bread lasted much longer after being brushed with vinegar and stored in a paper (not plastic). It did not taste of vinegar.

  21. Katy Says:
    June 20th, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    This is a great tip!! Once I get my hands in some more strawberries, I’m going to have to try it. That French phrase is pretty fascinating too; any idea about its etymology?

    Good luck with your deadline; I just emerged from my own–it was rough, but the other side of a deadline is pure loveliness!!

  22. Adeline Says:
    June 21st, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Madam Wong told me once to add a little bit of baking soda in the water when cooking string beans. Keeps them bright green. I wonder if it will work with strawberries and keep them fresh.

  23. CK Says:
    June 22nd, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    My view is that vinegar makes everything better, so even if a bit of tartness seeped into the strawberries, that’d be OK by me!

  24. Bob Says:
    June 23rd, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Don’t know why it helps, but it isn’t due to any germicidal action from vinegar. Lots of organisms grow on vinegar (acetic acid). Maybe it’s some kind of pH effect on membrane permeability.

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