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April showers bring May flowers. But one thing April doesn’t bring is many new fruits. April is known in the industry as the in-between month, meaning the newest crops of stone fruits, cherries, apples, pears, and melons just aren’t quite ready yet. Also, most of our winter crops, such as oranges and grapefruits, are nearing the end of their peak seasons.
However, the exception to this rule is the ever-famous California strawberry. California strawberries, when in season (late March to August), are second to none! Those of you who have been loyal Nino’s customers over the years have become very familiar with our trademark logo and know we take our strawberry quality very seriously. That being said, there is no better time to indulge in our most coveted fruit. There are many delicious ways to enjoy strawberries, whether it is as a dessert, for a morning snack, or simply just cut, washed and eaten. The key is to store them properly once you have made your purchase.
Here are a few tips to follow:
- Keep berries cool at all times. When placing them in your refrigerator, store them in a fruit drawer, which should be kept at about 38 degrees. If you do not have a fruit drawer, keeping berries away from the rear of the refrigerator is helpful, as it tends to be a few degrees cooler near the rear, which will damage strawberries if they are exposed to colder temperatures.
- NEVER wash strawberries until you are ready to use/eat them. One of the most common mistakes people make is washing all of the strawberries in a container all at once, using a few and storing the leftover ones. This is a big no-no! Water is the enemy when storing strawberries.
- Buy what you need. At times, you will see strawberries that are very inexpensive and feel tempted to stock up. My advice would be to engage in conversation with one of our produce managers (or me) to see what the upcoming strawberry market is in for. This way, you are aware of a climbing or declining market. Such information will help make your decision for you in regards to quantities.
Following these few easy tips will only boost your California strawberry experience. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!