We’ve gone over how to wash fruit in the past on this blog but today we are getting extremely specific. We’re talking grapes. Grapes are considered a member of the “Dirty Dozen.” These are types of produce that have the highest concentration of pesticides in them. You can wash your grapes by using proper cleaning techniques with water or soaking them in vinegar and water.
How to wash grapes to keep them fresh longer
Grapes are by far one of the hardest fruits to wash thoroughly. They’re always coated with that white, waxy stuff that just doesn’t come off with a regular rinse (it's called the 'bloom' and you can read more about it below). For other fruits and vegetables, a simple rinse with water and vinegar is sufficient. If I sat down to rub and rinse every single grape on the vine, they would probably be rotten by the time I finished.
Did you know that there is a way to clean & store your grapes that will have a major affect on how fast they will turn? Come hither friends, in this post, you will learn how to wash your grapes.
Do grapes need to be washed?
Grapes are so delicate that you don't want to accidentally squish them by cleaning too vigorously. If you've ever popped a nice looking grape in your mouth only to be overwhelmed with the sour taste of the bloom, you'll know why I'm taking the time today to teach you about his riveting, edge-of-your-seat topic.
In general, you should always rinse fruit/vegetables before eating them. Don't rinse them and then store them, because if you remove the white, waxy bloom, the exposure to moisture and air tends to make them rot faster. Wash once you're actually about to eat them, to get rid of any dirt, crop treatment chemicals, nasty wax taste, etc that might be stuck to them.
What is the white coating on grapes?
The white film, called “bloom,” is something that you see on a number of soft fruits and protects the grape from things like moisture loss and decay. Produced by the grape itself, the bloom is mostly made of a waxy substance called oleanolic acid.
Can I eat unwashed grapes?
Of course you can. Should you? That's depends on how concerned you are with pesticides, and potential bacteria on your grapes. Fruit can carry harmful pathogens like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria — and washing the surface is no guarantee that you won't get sick because the toxins may be lurking inside your produce!
Should I refrigerate grapes?
Yes. Place the grapes in the fridge immediately after you get them home from the grocery store. Check for moldy or bruised grapes first, and discard those immediately. Don't wash them until you are ready to eat them. This will keep them nice and crisp.Properly stored, grapes will usually keep for about 7 to 14 days in the fridge.
Can I freeze grapes?
Yes! Frozen grapes make a delicious snack and can even be used in lieu of ice cubes to chill a glass of wine. Wash them accoding to the instructions below and then after then are completely dry you can freeze them.
How to wash grapes the right way
The most important step is getting your grapes in the refrigerator immediately upon arriving home from grocery shopping. Grapes will stay freshest when stored at temperatures between 32 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pull out your desired serving of grapes. Hold them under cool, running water for thirty seconds. Rub them gently as you rinse. This can remove around 85% of the bacteria. It also rinses off pesticides on the grapes.
- Then, put your grapes in a clean bowl and fill the bowl with cool, clean water until the grapes are completely covered. Allow them to soak for 5-10 minutes in the water to get rid of pesticides and bacteria.
- Avoid soaking your grapes in the sink. This can introduce bacteria onto them and may cause illness. If you don't have a bowl, clean and rinse your sink before soaking your grapes.
- Next, check for any grapes that have broken skins or are decaying. Remove and throw them away. These may have bacteria, pesticide, or other residue you can't reach with cleaning.
- Put your grapes on a clean towel or baking sheet covered with a clean towel. Let your grapes air dry for about ten minutes. Gently dry each grape with the towel before eating or using them to remove any lingering bacteria, pesticide, or waxy substance.
- Steer clear of using any soaps or detergents on your grapes. These can leave a film on your grapes that is not safe for consumption and may cause illness or other reactions.
Eat or prepare the washed grapes within 72 hours for maximum freshness.
I would recommend eating them within 72 hours of cleaning them. Again, once clean and de-stemmed they turn rather quickly.
Now it is your turn to enjoy longer-lasting fresh grapes!