Monday, November 22, 2010
VICE of the Day: Unsulphured Strawberries
Dried fruits of almost any variety are one of my favorite indulgences, and I've been known to have it on my person at any given time. Chewy and rich in texture and concentrated berry flavor, unsulphured (organic) strawberries are quickly closing in on dried cherries as my dried fruit of choice.
Unsulphured simply means that the fruit is free of sulphur dioxide, which is a preservative used to keep fruits "pretty" by preventing oxidation which turns the fruit brown. It is also used to prevent mold from growing on the fruit. Buying unsulphured dried fruit means that you are buying a product (hopefully) free of preservatives and are getting the fruit as it was intended. In addition many people are sensitive to sulfites and they are a common source of allergies. Asthmatics in particular have been known to be especially sensitive to sulfites and should be sure to read labels carefully.
So how can you be certain your dried strawberries are unsulphured you ask? Well if you're buying them in bulk and there isn't a list of ingredients readily available, look at the colour of the fruit. More brown and drier looking in appearance, unsulphured dried fruit products are the uglier but nicer, better for you in the long-run sister of their sulphured counterparts. If the product is packaged, learn the terminology and anything that contains Sulphur dioxide is not preservative-free.