The Field - - Country Estate -

QA neigh­bour has kindly given me a rea­son­ably large quan­tity of dried fruit in prepa­ra­tion for Christ­mas de­lights. I am un­sure about some of it. Can you rec­om­mend a good way of telling if it’s old stock, be­side the sell-by date, and the best way of stor­ing it. This is not strictly sport­ing re­lated but the re­sults will be eaten by those who par­take in it.

KA, by email

ACur­rants should be blue-black in colour with a slight grey­ish bloom; raisins should be pale in colour, a good size and juicy look­ing. If the fruit is dry and sug­ary then it is prob­a­bly old stock. An ideal way to store dried fruit is in glass jars rather than tins as the acid con­tent can cause them to cor­rode.

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