- Raspberries are often extremely infested. They are nearly impossible to clean without ruining the fruit. Proper inspection requires exceptional patience. Currently, fresh raspberries and blackberries are not permitted in OU-certified catering facilities and restaurants. For instructions on insect inspection of raspberries, please see “Kashrut Instructions” below:
- 1 (10 oz.) package frozen red raspberries in syrup, thawed
- 1 (750ml) bottle sweet white wine (zinfandel), chilled
- ¼ cup raspberry liqueur
- Place raspberries and syrup in a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process until berries are smooth. Press berries through a fine-mesh sieve; discard seeds (you should have about 3/4 cup sieved puree).
- In a pitcher combine raspberry puree, wine, and raspberry liqueur.
- Serve over ice, if desired.
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.