There are few better markers to the beginning of warm weather than the appearance of vividly-hued, plump strawberries at the farmers market. Although modern technology has allowed strawberries to become increasingly available year-round, these red-fleshed fruits are at their sweetest from April to July. Find out how they're best stored — and eaten — when you read more.

Select berries with a firm texture, shiny skin, and saturated color — this indicates that they are ripe and at their peak. The best way to keep strawberries is by separating unwashed berries in layers with paper towels, then place them into a sealed container in the refrigerator. When stored in this manner, free of excess water, strawberries can maintain their firm texture for up to three days.

While strawberries are sweet and juicy enough to enjoy on their own, their versatile flavor enhances the quality of a number of dishes:

What's your choice way to enjoy strawberries? Do you prepare them in any unusual ways?