Strawberries, which are a memeber of the rose family, are not technically a fruit. These bright red, cone-shape berries are sweet, juicy, and aromatic when ripe. Though strawberries are available at supermarkets year-round, they are in season in late spring and early summer.
When you buy berries, choose them with care. Look for ones that are bright flame red to deep scarlet, without white or green on their shoulders. They should be plump, firm, and deeply aromatic. Their green caps should look healthy. Smaller berries seem to have the best flavor; the huge ones, while striking, are often woolly and bland. And when you find in-season local berries, don’t pass them by; they’re a perfect opportunity to sink your teeth into summer’s sweetness.
Don’t wash the berries until you're ready to use them, and then do so very gentle and use as little water as possible. Don’t hull berries until after you’ve washed and dried them.
How to hull strawberries: Don’t mar the strawberries’ beauty by cutting straight across their tops to remove the green cap. If you have a strawberry huller, use it. If not, use a sharp paring knife and point it down under the cap at an angle to slice out a cone-shaped piece of the strawberry under the cap.
Strawberries are delicate, so handle them as little as possible to prevent bruising. When you bring them home, carefully sort out any that are mushy, moldy, or discolored. One bad berry can spoil the whole bowl. Spread the berries in a single layer on a baking sheet or shallow baking dish lined with paper towels. Stored in the refrigerator, they can keep for up to three days, but the sooner you eat them, the better.