At this time of year, strawberries are little weapons of seduction.
Let me explain.
All year long we eat strawberries... strawberries that look good, but just taste okay. But we go ahead and buy them anyway, because they remind us of something bright and warm and wonderful, something hard to pinpoint, but something we desperately want to feel again.
Then, the first REAL strawberries of the season arrive… and it all comes rushing back: the sweet taste of summer. The lovely promise that the next few months will be as bright and beckoning as this bite. Happiness.
Farmers' market tables are heavy with just-picked strawberries right now. If you shop in supermarkets that carry locally grown produce, you’ll find these luscious natural treats as well.
You can thank the unseasonably cool weather for somewhat late season's bounty. Here are a few strawberry buying tips and facts to help you select the best:
• Look for plump strawberries that are evenly colored with soft, green, leafy tops.
• Avoid those that have soft spots or are bruised.
• Smaller strawberries tend to be sweeter… bigger is not always better.
• Look at the bottom of the strawberry container before you buy it. If it is heavily stained or the strawberries looked smashed, put it back.
• Gently clean unhulled strawberries with a mushroom brush or a damp paper towel.
• Strawberries are low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients.
• Strawberries spoil quickly, so eat them within a day or two.
If you have more berries than you can eat right away, place all the unwashed, unhulled strawberries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Cover with another paper towel and refrigerate. Eat them as soon as possible!
All year we eagerly wait for so many things… some of which are worth it, and others not so much. Fresh strawberries? Definitely worth the wait.
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