Rotten Luck

We all have those little breakfast rituals and routines…But for many, it is not just a habit, but an addiction: Some crave caffeine, others are dependent on doughnuts, and eggs are essential for many. For a long time I needed Corn Flakes or another Kellogg’s creation to start my day, and then my palate got a little more demanding

Nothing like the sight of fresh berries in the morning. Oh…and yes that is a pomegranate in the back. I have no idea if  a pomegranate is considered a ‘berry’ or not, but damn are they tasty.

Now, I love FRESH berries in the morning.

I could care less if it is the middle of the winter and I am forced to import the damn things from New Zealand. Berries are one produce that I am excited  to eat year-round, and willing to pay a premium for.

But there is one thing that I am really fed up with; it is my ROTTEN LUCK.

Whether its is due to the scary price tag at Whole Foods, or the scary service and oversized packages at Sam’s Club; buying fresh berries frequently involves some sort of significant investment on your part.  But I would be fine if I ONLY had to ‘pay-up’ and hand over half my pay check to gourmet grocery stores or if I was ONLY going to have to stand in line forever holding ‘feed-Africa-sized’ crates of strawberries.  Unfortunately though, buying berries is not about the upfront costs…it is about the gamble you take every time you decided to carry home a container of the delicate fruits.

I am not a betting man…I am far too stygy to risk losing a dime to any Vegas casino. But almost every week I gamble with my groceries as I attempt to satisfy my craving for fresh berries. Berries are always packed in pints and various plastic containers. This is a convenient way to sell the small, loose,  fruits. But it also means that each container can conceal a disgusting secret. I have arrived home many times and opened my box-o-berries to only discover moldy, rotting, fungus-infested produce hidden amongst its innocent  brethren.

Due to rot setting in, this poor strawberry had to butchered in order to salvage the remaining edible portion…what is left is a sad sight and a deep bitterness for our misfortune.

Countless times I wake up to a beautiful breakfast bowl and then end up mourning all morning long when I open up a new pint of blueberries to discover they have been tainted by rot.  Or I will reach into a box of bright red strawberries to suddenly pull out a specimen that is nothing more than moldy mush. I will often try to salvage the disaster by tossing out the bad-blueberries and by cutting away the nasty bits of infected strawberries…but this just leaves the pitiful remains of a once truly glorious  fruit…my early-morning-hungar is replaced with a strong sense of sorrow for the sad loss  of good fruit, and frustrated feelings for the money I wasted.

This game of roulette I am forced to play every time I visit the produce section of my local grocery store is something I dread each  week…But no matter how risk-adverse I may be, in the search for quality cuisine, sometimes we all just need to stand strong in-spite of monumental odds.


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Categories: Rants

Author:Mr. Fed Up

A guy looking for good grub. and YES....I have a website...and I am not going to bore you with one of those personal journal type of blogs. I promise. Check it out;


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18 Comments on “Rotten Luck”

  1. July 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Great Post and can relate because I have been there and have had it happen too.

    • July 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

      Thanks for reading…yep, this is always drives me crazy!

  2. July 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    So true! I love fresh berries, but they really can get costly! When I buy fresh strawberries, I always turn the container every which way to see if I can spot a mold on any one of the berries. This only works sometimes (because the company might’ve been good with hiding it), and it might make me look like a picky fool, but I still get fresher berries than if I’d picked up just ANY container and those berries make it all worth it! 😀

    • July 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

      Haha…I honestly seem to spend half my time at a grocery store just analyzing every piece of produce(especially the berries). I was just at Sam’s and I must have shuffled through 15 containers of strawberries before I found an acceptable batch (and I STILL had a moldy one in the middle of the box when I got home).

      The annoying thing is that you can never really return the fruit, no matter how bad it was when you picked it up.

      • Linda
        August 8, 2012 at 10:51 am #

        Actually, I know that at Sam’s at least they will let you return moldy produce (I think you have to do it pretty quickly, like by the next day). I worked at a restaurant that got most of their produce from Sam’s and there were many days that I would take multiple trips out to (various) Sam’s clubs trying to get the perfect fruit (especially in winter). You should ask your Sam’s what their policy–it might be worth it!

      • August 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

        Hi Linda, I had no idea that Sam’s would accept returns…the problem is that going to Sam’s for me is ALREADY a big ordeal and I hate the thought of having to go back in the same week. The thing with Sam’s that really bothers me is the lines:

  3. July 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    I usually limit myself to buying berries only when I can examine them fairly closely or even try them first, but I’m not a huge fruit eater so that’s easy enough for me. To address the mold issue as best you can, have you tried giving them a hot bath? I read about this a few years ago in a piece by Harold McGee, and it definitely cuts back on the mold issues. ( It’s kind of counter-intuitive, because everyone always tells you not to wash the berries until just before you eat them, but it works.

    • July 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

      Hi Carly…I have never thought to give them a hot bath…I guess that could work…I will try almost anything to avoid wasting berries that I have spent so much cash on. Thanks for the tip, I will try that out next week after my grocery run…BUT hopefully it will be unnecessary (unlikely, given my streak of ‘rotten luck’ recently).

      • Carly
        July 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

        The article has different temps and times for different berries – it’s not just to get rid of mold, but it helps prevent it, which is great. (I don’t know about you, but a lot of times I buy them one night and they all look fine and then the very next morning there’s already mold on them.)

  4. July 26, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    YES! The same thing happens to me all the time…I spend 15 minutes picking out a carton that looks perfect, then the next morning half the berries are sprouting mold or something. I am pretty sure I live in some sort of anti-fruit-vortex or something…ALL my fruit seems to go bad so much more quickly in my home. I have NEVER seen bananas turn brown so quickly as in my house and apples last about a day before getting mushy (ok, not exactly true…but still fruits really do ripen much faster in my current kitchen.)

  5. July 27, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Oh, I know how you feel! I hate finding those gross berries. Raspberries get to be pretty bad as well. I got six containers of raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries a couple of weeks ago and prepped all of them that day. They were basically inhaled within four days because they were soooo good!

    • July 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

      When berries are good….THEY ARE AMAZING!…but when they are bad, then is is just depressing. Raspberries are another VERY fragile fruit. Even if there is no mold, raspberries are so delicate, that if you accidentally drop your shopping bag or something, the berries quickly turn to mush.


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