Watsonville, Calif. Don't waste a second of strawberry time. Keep these points in mind as you choose, store and eat your rosy fruit.
Strawberries do not ripen after they have been harvested, so choose strawberries that have been picked fully ripened.
The size of the berry does not reflect quality or flavor; serving berries at room temperature does heighten naturally sweet flavor.
When shopping for strawberries, look for plump berries with a natural shine, bright-red color and fresh, green caps.
Once you get strawberries home, to maintain good flavor, appearance and highest nutritional value, store them loosely covered and unwashed in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them.
Prepare strawberries for serving by rinsing with caps still attached under a gentle spray of cool water; pat dry with a paper towel.
To freeze fresh strawberries: In a saucepan mix equal amounts of sugar and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear. Cool completely. Measure 1 cup of stemmed and sliced strawberries into a 1-pint freezer bag. Pour 1/2 to 2/3 of a cup of the sugar-water liquid into the bag. Seal and freeze the bag in a single layer.