Raw Purees: Fruits

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Raw purees are generally made from fruits, whose ripening enzymes often break down their cell walls from within, and thus allow their intact flesh to turn into a puree in the mouth. Raspberries, strawberries, melons, mangoes, and bananas are examples of such naturally soft fruits. The flavor of a raw puree is usually accentuated by the addition of sugar, lemon juice, and aromatic herbs or spices. But that flavor is fragile and changeable. Pureeing mixes the cell contents with each other and with oxygen in the air, so enzyme action and oxidation begin immediately (see below for the effects in cooked purees of tomato, a botanical fruit). The best way to minimize this change is to chill the puree, which slows all chemical reactions.