Picking out the perfect berries can sometimes be tricky. Here are a few tips that may help you find the perfect berries with sweetness, freshness, and great texture.
First look at the leaves on the berries. They should be vibrant green and looking alive. Leaves that are dark green, brown, crispy looking edges, or just generally more dead looking indicate the berries to be old. Bright leaves that look alive will be the freshest, most recently picked, berries.
Next, look at the seeds on the strawberries. They should look light colored, slightly shiny, and fresh looking. Seeds that look dry, dark, brittle, and old indicate older berries.
Last, turn the carton over to check for any mold and/or rotten spots. If the leaves are bright, the seeds look fresh, and there are no rotten parts, they should be fresh and delicious! Store strawberries in the fridge for 3-4 days and rinse just before serving.
Look for blueberries that are plump, have firm skin, and are free from wrinkles and blemishes. If you can, do the pinch test by gently squeezing a berry between your thumb and pointer finger. If it feels firm with a slight give, its likely a very good berry. If it mushes really easily and the skin wrinkles up, it will be mushy. If it is completely firm with no give, it could be a little under ripe and tart. Store blueberries in the fridge for 3-5 days and rinse just before serving.
Look for raspberries that are a deep almost purply pink color. Raspberries that look stiff without being too light in color will have better texture. If the berries look especially dark colored and/or they are laying flat in the carton, or there are several mushed berries in the carton, they will likely be mushy and fall apart when washed. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days and rinse just before serving.
Blackberries have lots of little pods that make up the berry. When they are ripening, those pods are small and turn from green to red to black. They enlarge as the fruit matures. When choosing blackberries, look for berries that have large, almost bulging pods. The fruit should be very dark colored. The bigger the pods are, typically juicer the entire berry will be. Stay away from berries that are very lightly colored, have very small, tight pods, are still red, or look rotten and moldy. Store blackberries in the fridge for 3-5 days and rinse just before serving.