Product Care and Storage
Each season, one question we get asked time and time again is: “What is the best way to store my fresh Rancho products?”
To answer this question, here is some basic product care and storage information. This should assist greatly in keeping your nuts and dried fruit tasting wonderful for as long as possible!
Nuts. Rancidity is a common hazard with nuts due to their high oil content. For this reason, nuts should always be purchased as fresh as possible as rancidity will give them quite a noticeably unpleasant flavour.
All nuts are best stored cold, or frozen, in airtight containers and used within a year. The exception to this rule applies to nuts that have been processed or flavoured as this generally means they contain salt. Nuts cannot freeze properly when salted and tend to lose their texture and flavour in the attempt. We therefore recommend that you only buy salted or flavoured nuts to last you over the holiday season.
Dried fruit. Most dried fruit will keep very well in cool storage or in the fridge for much of the winter. However, if you would like to keep dried fruit for longer, we do recommend freezing it and storing in an airtight container.
The best way to freeze dried fruits, particularly sticky, soft ones like raisins or dates, is to spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze overnight. After they're frozen, transfer them to your airtight container for long term storage. We still recommend consuming within a year as long-term freezer storage will affect the flavour after enough time. When you’re ready to eat your fruit, spread it out on the cookie sheet again and let it thaw.
Confections. All of our chocolate-coated or otherwise flavoured nuts and dried fruit are made with “new crop” centres to our precise specifications.
Because of the presence of natural enzymes, chocolate products are affected by various factors such as changes in temperature and length of storage. In the space of two or three months you may notice chocolate products sometimes develop a somewhat cloudy appearance. This is called “blooming.” It is by no means an indication that the product has spoiled or is harmful to ingest but rather that it may have lost some of its peak flavour. We therefore recommend that you keep your chocolate products in cold storage or frozen if you intend to consume more than two months after manufacture.
Using dried fruit. To cook dried fruit, cover with boiling water and simmer covered until tender (about 15 minutes). If needed, sweeten to taste near the end of cooking or after removing from heat, although most dried fruits need no extra sweetening. If desired, add a few grains of salt to help bring out the fruit's natural sweetness or add a little lemon, orange or grapefruit juice just before serving. This helps give fruit a fresh flavour and adds vitamin C.
To reconstitute fruit for use in a cooked dish, such as a pie, place it in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak until tender and liquid is absorbed (one hour or longer). Thinly-sliced fruits may not require soaking before using in cooked dishes.
Reconstituted or dried fruits are excellent in cobblers, breads, pies, puddings, milk shakes and cooked cereals.