Food & Drink

Dyed strawberries?

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  • Jul 17th, 2017 4:20 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
May 19, 2003
2181 posts
176 upvotes

Dyed strawberries?

A couple weeks ago my family came to visit and we stopped by the St Lawrence market. All the produce sellers in the south market had these very deep red strawberries.
I was a little suspicious to start because the signage was implying Ontario strawberries but not directly saying it (Isn't it a little early?) The strange thing I noticed at first but
didn't think much at the time, was how consistent they all were. They had this tart almost strange bitterness to them. Once I got home and cut into them, they were also
strangely even colored throughout. Not the red going to a white center. I now wonder if they had been dyed with something (beet juice??). I can't find anything online about
dying strawberries. Anyone encountered this before? Am I being paranoid??
5 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 7, 2007
3011 posts
671 upvotes
I don't think you're being paranoid. It is good to be skeptical if something doesn't seem natural. I have read about all kinds of weird things growers do. I haven't specifically come across dyed strawberries but if you research it a bit more you may find your answer.
Sr. Member
Dec 14, 2011
824 posts
233 upvotes
London
I have heard they use dyed water sometimes. I think they also farm salmon with dyed food to make it nice and pink.
Member
Oct 14, 2012
451 posts
199 upvotes
Woodstock
Ontario berries come in mid-June (from Niagara) till about the first week of July. After that, they are from "ever bearing" plants which aren't as good as the single spring crop strawberry plants.

A ripe strawberry should NEVER be white in the middle. When we used to pick them, we would never pick the unripe ones as they would be left for the next picking in 2-3 days. Berries picked in the off season to ship great distances (e.g. Florida, Mexico, California to Toronto) are often picked when not ripe to keep them from spoiling en route. http://www.npr.org/2012/05/17/152944880 ... rawberries

This cold, wet spring was terrible for the strawberries. They didn't get the warmth and sun they need to get lots of natural sugars forming in them. So they were sour and not very strawberry-tasting.

It's possible you came across a really odd situation but I suspect you just came across poor, local strawberries. Hope you had better success with your next batch.
Deal Addict
Oct 7, 2007
3011 posts
671 upvotes
This is true. The strawberries really weren't very good this year and I don't expect them to get much better at this point. Still waiting for the best cherries to arrive (they are just coming in now) and watermelon also has been quite poor this year. Not a great year for summer fruit.
Deal Addict
Jun 21, 2016
1407 posts
483 upvotes
choclover wrote:
Jul 17th, 2017 10:40 am
This is true. The strawberries really weren't very good this year and I don't expect them to get much better at this point. Still waiting for the best cherries to arrive (they are just coming in now) and watermelon also has been quite poor this year. Not a great year for summer fruit.
I have had bad and good
good watermelon a couple times (Walmart)
good cherries a couple times (not currently, before at no-frills and Walmart)
and good strawberries almost every time (I look at each box before buying, and choose one that looks good)
I think once or twice they were sour (freshco and Walmart)

and I just bought them randomly when I saw them and wanted to eat some, I didn't specifically go to a store to buy certain fruits. It seems like freshco from my experience has the worst fruit, apples, bananas, pears, oranges, cherries and grapes. I got some grapes last year that were good but none this whole year

I have never experienced what the OP is experiencing at Walmart and freshco which are the only places I have bought strawberries from this year. Lots have a white circle at the stem, actually almost all of them have that from the ones I bought. I had to look at about 20 each time to get one without a white circle where the stem was.

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