Popular choices of strawberries include Hokowase, Sweetie, Tioga and the Fragaria Vesca, which is a wild strawberry.
Select strawberries that are plump, firm and bright red without any white or green patches near the stem. Look at the underside of the container to ensure there are no squished berries, soft spots, bruising or mould. Smaller strawberries are usually the most flavourful.
Strawberries are fragile and do not store well. Store on a tray lined with paper towel in the fridge for up to three days. Do not wash before refrigerating and do not soak either, as this will dilute the flavour. Strawberry pulp can be frozen for later use.
Before eating, give the strawberries a quick wash, leaving the stalks intact. Remove the caps and stalks before serving, and either serve whole or sliced.
5 quick ways with strawberries
Accessorise slices of crisp, pink watermelon with bright-red strawberries and mint leaves for a healthy and refreshing summer fruit platter.
For chocolate-covered strawberries, melt one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave for two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Wash and dry the strawberries, with stems intact, and twirl in the chocolate to coat evenly. Place on a baking paper-lined tray and refrigerate until set.
Slice a punnet of strawberries and place into a bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and allow to macerate at room temperature for up to one hour. Serve as a dessert.
Puree a punnet of strawberries and freeze in small portions to add to yoghurt or smoothies.
Make an interesting, refreshing salad. Combine one cos lettuce (leaves torn), two bunches of baby spinach, 1/2 cup of toasted pecans, one punnet of strawberries (sliced) and one thinly sliced red onion. Make a dressing of 120ml reduced-fat mayonnaise, 15g poppy seeds, 30ml white wine vinegar and 60ml milk. Drizzle over the salad and serve.