Sophisticated and practical and a really different kind of soup.
- 1 small melon, cut into 1-inch cubes (making about 2 cups puree)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 pint strawberries
- 1 ground pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Ice water for thinning
- 4 to 6 small scoops kosher for pesach or homemade berry sorbet or sherbert
- 4 to 6 fresh raspberries for garnish
- Puree melon cubes with honey, salt, and water. Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
- Puree strawberries with pepper and balsamic. Strain, then pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
- When ready to serve, stir both purees and evaluate their consistency. Thin whichever one is thicker (usually the strawberries) with enough ice water to make it the same consistency as the other.
- Measure a scant 1/4 cup of melon puree into each of the chilled cups, then measure a scant 1/4 cup of berry puree into the center of the melon puree.
- Swirl gently, then top each with a small scoop of sorbet topped with a raspberry.
DESCRIPTION: Considered by many the most intensely flavored member of the berry family, the raspberry is composed of many connecting drupelets (individual sections of fruit, each with its own seed) surrounding a central core. There are three main varieties—black, golden and red, the latter being the most widely available. Fresh raspberries are typically available from May through November.
INFESTATION: There are three main varieties of raspberries – black, golden, and red, the latter being the most widely available. Raspberries can be heavily infested with small mites and thrips. These insects can be nestled on the surface of the berry as well as inside the open cavity of the raspberry. Occasionally, small worms may be found in the cavity of the berry.
Note that tiny, dark-colored, leaf-like or seed-like protrusions in the berry’s cavity may appear similar to insects, making the true insects difficult to discern.
Raspberries are often extremely infested. They are nearly impossible to clean without ruining the fruit. Proper inspection of these berries requires exceptional patience. Currently, fresh raspberries and blackberries are not permitted in OU certified catering facilities and restaurants.
If berry inspection is undertaken, it should be done in a well-lit area. In a commercial facility, a light box should be used.
INSPECTION: Due to the very delicate nature of raspberries, they cannot be placed in water nor can they be extensively handled. Therefore, we recommend the following procedure as the most practical and effective way of checking raspberries:
- Stretch a white cloth or sheet of white freezer paper over a light box or on a countertop with ample overhead lighting. Raspberries should be dropped one by one onto the white surface. This will dislodge at least some of the insects that may inhabit the berry.
- If two or more insects are found, a pint of berries is to be considered infested and may not be used. There is no washing procedure that will guarantee removal of all of the insects.
- If after dropping the berries no insects are found, the berries should be visually inspected one by one. Pay careful attention to the cavity of the berry where insects often hide.
- When working in a catering commissary, a larger amount of berries can be dropped on a light box at one time, minimizing the time of inspection.
Alternative method: recommended for large quantities:
- After following steps 1 & 2 above, berries should be placed in a container of soapy solution (prepared with food-grade detergent) and agitated vigorously.
- After a thorough rinsing, the berries may be spin-dried.
- To verify that the washing has succeeded in removing all insects, check 5 berries per pint in the manner outlined above.
- If the green crown is to be removed, do so carefully without making a hole in the top of the strawberry. If a hole was made, the strawberry should then be cut in half, allowing you to wash both the inside and outside of the strawberry.
- Briefly soak berries in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
- Allow the berries to soak for a few minutes.
- Carefully wash off the entire surface of the strawberry.
- Gently dry each strawberry. They may be used without inspection.
- Carefully remove the green leaf of the strawberry without making a hole in the top of the strawberry. If a hole was made, the strawberry should then be cut in half, allowing both the inside and outside of the strawberry to be washed.
- Rub the surface of each individual berry while holding it under a stream of running water. Careful attention should be paid to the area beneath the green leaf at the top of the berry.
Inspection for Long Stem Strawberries:
The beauty of highly-priced long stem strawberries may be marred by contact with water and/or the removal of its green crown. We therefore recommend the following washing procedure:
- Taking an individual strawberry in hand, lift the green leafy crown at the top of the berry and, with a soft brush, e.g., soft bristle paintbrush or women’s make-up brush, brush off entire surface of strawberry.
- Each berry should be carefully inspected under strong light. Thrips may crawl into the crevices of the strawberry seeds. The entire surface area must be visually inspected. A magnifying glass can be a most helpful tool for easy identification of insects.
- If the strawberries are found to be heavily infested, the entire pallet should not be used.