Strawberries 101


No matter what life throws at you, strawberry season always seems to make the world feel a little brighter. And not only are strawberries beautiful and taste great, they’re also kind of amazing plants: They’re related to roses, the only fruit with its seeds on the outside, and self-clone themselves via runners that grow aboveground (making a strawberry patch takes just one plant!). Here’s how to keep these juicy gems at their best in your kitchen:


Eating within 2 days? Don’t wash yet: Because strawberries are thin-skinned and absorb water easily, leave them unwashed until just before eating. 

Eating within a week? Vinegar bath time: This actually works! Use 1 cup vinegar to 3 cups water. Submerge berries in vinegar solution then spin dry in a salad spinner lined with paper towels until completely dry. 

 To stem or not to stem: Strawberries will keep longer if you de-stem (or hull) the berry. But if you can’t get to this step, a good vinegar bath and spin dry will keep spoilage at bay. 

 Spread ‘em out: If you have space in the fridge, store strawberries spread out on a paper towel-lined plate or shallow storage container (a little crowding is fine, just get them out of the squishy strawberry container.). If you’ve de-stemmed them, place cut-side-down onto paper towel. Cover the plate tightly with food wrap or seal the storage container with a lid.

 Freezing: Place whole, washed, de-stemmed berries on a lined baking sheet and let them freeze solid before transferring to an airtight freezer bag, this way they won’t all stick together into one mega-berry. You can also wash and slice them before freezing solid and storing, which is nice for baking and easier on blender blades for smoothies.

How to hull a strawberry

Everyone does this a little differently, but it’s really not that complicated. I use a paring knife to core out the green stem, trying to remove as little berry as possible. Or, if I’m rushed I just cut the stem clean off. Done.

You can also use:

  • a specialized strawberry stem remover
  • a drinking straw, fed through the bottom of the strawberry to pop the stem out the top
  • a grapefruit spoon to core the stem


While June and July are peak strawberry months across Canada, day-neutral berries can be found from May until October! Here are my best strawberry recipes for the season:


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