How to Pick the Sweetest Strawberries Every Time

Make the most of strawberry season.

<p>Getty Images/Allrecipes</p>

Getty Images/Allrecipes

Strawberry season is upon us! That means produce sections and farmers' markets are overflowing with the juicy red fruits. Learn what to look for to pick the very best carton of strawberries:

When Is Strawberry Season?

You can buy strawberries at the grocery store year round because of international shipping, greenhouses, and different growing seasons. However, strawberries are the best when they’re in season in your area—this is when they’re plumpest, juiciest, and most flavorful.

Strawberries, typically one of the first spring fruits to pop up at farmers’ markets, may show up as early as late February (depending on where you live).

Peak season tends to be early spring to early-mid summer. National Pick Strawberries Day is on May 20, if that tells you anything!

How to Pick Strawberries

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

How to Choose Strawberries At the Grocery Store or Farmers’ Market

Don’t be intimidated by the produce section—choosing fresh strawberries is easy if you know what to look for:

  • The exterior should be ruby red with a shiny exterior and minimal discoloration.

  • The stems should be bright green and unwilted.

  • The berries should be firm to the touch and the skin should be taught and unwrinkled.

  • The scent should be fruity, floral, and distinctly “strawberry.”

How to Pick Strawberries Off the Plant

If you’re lucky enough to pick strawberries straight off the plant, here’s what you need to know:

  • Strawberry plants produce perfectly ripe berries for about three to five weeks per year, depending on the temperature (strawberry plants love warm days and cool nights).

  • It’s important to remember that strawberries stop ripening once you pull them from the plant. Harvest them when they are vibrant red—if you see any white or green spots, leave them alone until they ripen further.

  • To harvest a strawberry, simply grasp the stem between your thumb and forefinger and pull while gently twisting. The berry should easily twist off the plant.

How to Store Fresh Strawberries to Keep Them Fresh

Make the most of your fresh strawberries by storing them properly:

  1. Discard any strawberries that look moldy, then give the rest a vinegar bath. Dry well.

  2. If the strawberries came in a plastic clamshell container, that’s perfect! Otherwise, put the strawberries in a container with the lid ajar to allow the air to circulate.

  3. Place a paper towel in the bottom of the container to absorb excess moisture.

  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week, or until the berries start to grow mold or become mushy. You might want to replace the paper towel every so often.

Can You Freeze Strawberries?

Corey Williams
Corey Williams

Yes! Strawberries freeze quite well. Check out our step-by-step strawberry freezing guide for detailed instructions. Here’s a quick run-down of what you’ll find:

  1. Wash, hull, and slice the strawberries.

  2. Flash freeze the sliced strawberries on a baking sheet.

  3. Once the berries are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe, zip-top bag. 

Read the original article on All Recipes.