One of the season’s most anticipated delights, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are in season from late spring through the height of summer. Strawberries arrive first, with a season that lasts from April through September, depending on the part of the country; blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries show up at the markets after, with golden and black raspberries usually appearing last. Versatile and sweet, they make a bright addition to cakes, slumps, cobblers, pies, sauces, and other cooked dishes, but when berries are truly at their peak, their flavor is perhaps best enjoyed simply eaten out of hand.
HOW TO BUY
Choose brightly colored, plump berries that smell fragrant; avoid soft, shriveled, or moldy fruit.
HOW TO STORE
Store unwashed in a moisture-proof container in the fridge. Some hardier berries, like blueberries, will keep for up to five days; more delicate varieties, like raspberries, are best used within two or three.
HOW TO PREPARE
Rinse berries in cold water and pat dry with kitchen towels. To hull a strawberry, watch this video tutorial.