Need to know:
- When purchasing, go for strawberries that look firm, with a soft sheen and crisp, bright green leaves. Look underneath the punnet to check the fruit at the bottom isn't squashed, damaged or oozing juice.
- You can store in the fridge still in the punnet or on a plate lined with a paper towel covered in plastic wrap. Don't wash until about to use, when you will generally remove the hull and green leaves.
- Delicious raw, the flavour of strawberries is enhanced with a little sprinkle of balsamic vinegar, brandy or orange-flavoured liqueur. You can also simply squeeze over lemon juice, dust with sugar and leave to stand for a few hours.
- Strawberries with a dipping sauce is a quick and easy dessert. Combining strawberries with chocolate is a classic option, and sour cream sweetened with brown sugar also works well. You could also supply dishes of nuts for guests to dip the coated strawberries into.
- Be careful what you cook strawberries in. Aluminium pans can affect the colour and flavour, so go for non-reactive cookwear, such as stainless steel or Pyrex.