Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Throwback Tip #289: Make Chocolate-Covered Strawberries Last Longer

If you sell chocolate-covered strawberries for the holidays, more specifically Valentine’s Day, and have found yourself working from sunrise to sunset to keep up with demand, this tip is for you. 
RCI member, Luisa Chocolatiere shares her pro tips for extending the shelf-life of these delicate fruit confections to best avoid working yourself ragged while preparing for one of the biggest candy holidays of the year.

1.) Clear communication
Although this first step will not affect the longevity of your strawberries, it will help you better prepare for the holiday. Requiring advanced orders for chocolate-covered strawberries helps create expectations for your production needs. Clear communication to your customer base is key to ensure their expectations are met too. The beginning of January is a great time to start to taking orders for Valentine's Day.

2.) Gently clean and air dry
The way you clean your berries could be contributing to unwanted mold. Follow these step-by-step instructions to minimize moisture and bacteria.
  • Start by wiping away any dirt with a clean towel and discard unwanted mushy or moldy berries.
  • Gently submerge berries in a solution of cold water and non-pasteurized apple cider vinegar (use approximately 3 tablespoons for every one gallon of water) for five minutes. The acidity of the vinegar will kill spores and bacteria on the fresh berries.
  • Next, place the strawberries in a colander to drain excess water before air drying berries in a single layer on top of a dry towel.
  • Once the strawberries are dry, they can be placed in their original containers, which have since been cleaned and dried as well, until they are ready to dip.

3.) Chilled storage
To keep chocolate-covered strawberries overnight without the harmful effects of refrigeration, place dipped strawberries on containers, which are on top of gel ice packs and they can store for up to 48 hours.
These tips may seem simple, but they have the potential to completely transform the way you operate your business leading up to Valentine’s Day—for the better. Now with all that extra time saved up, you may be able to devote more of it to other areas of your business or spend it with family and, hopefully, get more sleep on the morning of Valentine’s Day! Let us know in the comments below what you plan to do with the time you’ll save with this tip!

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