Everyone knows that the best strawberries are the ones you pick yourself right from the fields. There's nothing like the "pick one, eat one" method, but the U-Pick season has now come and gone in this part of Ohio. We're fortunate, however, to live in an area where fresh strawberries can still reach us a few days after picking. In fact, many argue that the best strawberries come from Driscoll Farms in California, Florida, Central America, and the Baja.
The trick to good strawberries is in the timing. A shipper like Driscoll's hand-picks in the morning, inspects and refrigerates immediately, and has the berries on the truck as soon as possible. Once picked, the berries do not ripen any further so they must be picked at just the right time.
At Daisy Mae's, we inspect the strawberries before placing them on the shelf and remove any that show signs of spoilage. You should do the same before you purchase, looking for signs of moisture in the container. Because berries are among the most perishable of fruits, your berries may look fine on the stand, but if not refrigerated right away, problems can develop within a few hours. If you see a strawberry with signs of spoilage, remove it so that it doesn't contaminate the others in the container. If you don't plan to use your berries right away, store them in the original container in the refrigerator. Don't wash them until you're ready to use them, and then wash gently with the caps on under cool water. Remove the caps after cleaning.
We do our best to make sure the produce at Daisy Mae's is fresh, and we try to be honest about how long we think something will last. Especially in the hot, humid months of summer, we recommend you make Daisy Mae's your last shopping stop so that berries and other perishable products can quickly be put in the refrigerator. If, however, despite our precautions, your careful selection, and your proper handling, you still find strawberries not up to par, please let us know...but then salvage what you can and make smoothies!