I am old-fashioned ― and a bit stubborn ― when it comes to strawberries. I know that modern agriculture and global commerce have made strawberries available even in mid-December, and those berries are fairly red and have decent enough flavor.
But I also know that more thrilling fare is coming. So I wait ― until April and May, when local fields are pumping out fruit, the price drops, and at last the strawberries are deep red, tender, and intensely sweet. These are real strawberries. And I'm willing to forgo the wannabes all year for them.
To capture strawberries' peak-season flavor, first choose smooth, bright red ones with fresh-looking green caps. Then use them as soon as possible. If you need to hold the berries a day or two, chill them in their boxes, loosely covered with plastic wrap. Wash with caps attached just before using, then hull. For best flavor, serve raw berries at room temperature.