Here's How To Choose The Best Strawberries

Summer's right around the bend, and you know what that means: It's strawberry season. Who doesn't love a nice, plump, red berry that goes perfect with everything from chocolate to whipped cream to powdered sugar? You probably find yourself wanting to run down to the grocery store and pick yourself up a carton, just for heck of it! You can probably use a good strawberry shortcake recipe or whip up some strawberry pie – huh, seems they've gone bad already. Well, good things can't last forever, we suppose.

Strawberries have long been a popular fruit, renowned for their beauty and their sweetness. In fact, medieval cultures even considered them to be symbols of fertility and passion from the goddess Venus (via Brooch Paradise). While today we know them more for their nutritional value and beautiful red color, they also have a tendency to go bad quickly. One moment, they're delicious and scarlet, but the next they're withering and covered in a strange greenish-grey mold. You obviously don't want to keep wasting money buying fruit that goes bad by the time you're ready to eat them. But is there any way you can find the best box of strawberries to pick? How do you which ones would be good in your cake or better off in the compost?

Look for red, vibrant strawberries

Picking fruit from your grocery store's produce department is a bit more complicated than you'd think. It's not like you can taste-test the fruits right then and there to see if they're good. Instead, as Real Simple describes, you must judge the produce on everything from shape, color, texture, weight, and scent. But how can you use these techniques to help pick the best carton of strawberries?

According to registered dietician Tamar Samuels, it's best to look for strawberries that are bright red in color (via The Huffington Post). Avoid the ones have a white or green discoloration, as these have been mistakenly picked before they could ripen and will leave a bitter taste. You should also avoid wet or moist strawberries, since that's a sign that rotting has already begun to set in. 

Spoon University also offers some tips on how to find the best berries. Their advice has you pick smaller strawberries, as they will not only be sweeter, but contain less water. You should also look for the freshest caps — the green, leafy part on top of the strawberry. If they are dried, withered, or dying, that means the berries have been sitting in that produce section for quite a while and may not be the freshest berries for your summer snack.