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An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

  • How to Choose Strawberries
    Local strawberries, available at farmers’ markets and upscale grocery stores, are always sweetest. The reason: Strawberries that are shipped long distances are picked before they are ripe. Otherwise they would be too fragile to survive the trip. And they don’t get any sweeter after picking. At their prime, strawberries give off an intoxicating aroma and are plump and firm, with bright red flesh. Avoid berries that have green or light tops or dry or brown leaves and those that are bruised or shriveled. The smaller varieties are generally more flavorful. Inspect plastic containers and cartons for stickiness or stains, signs that the fruit inside is damaged or past its prime.

  • How to Store Strawberries
    Discard bruised or moldy fruit. Then enclose the container of berries loosely in a paper bag so they don’t dry out. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just before using, rinse with cold water and pat dry.

    How to Prepare Strawberries
    Wash the berries and trim the caps just before using.

  • How to Use Strawberries
    Strawberries are perfect in pies, just right in jams, and a sweet-tart touch in salads. But they’re at their best raw, served at room temperature, topped with freshly whipped cream.

    —Melinda Page

    Real Simple Strawberry Recipes:

    See all Strawberry recipes »

  • How To: Prepare Strawberries

    Discover a new trick for removing the hull from strawberries.

     

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what's in season

Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.

   
  • Sweet corn
  • Fiddlehead Ferns
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherries
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini
  • Peaches
  • Cucumber
  • Blueberries
  • Arugula
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