For maximum sweetness and flavor pick fruit a day or two after they are fully ripe. Berries which are picked before they are completely ripe will eventually turn red, but will not sweeten “off of the vine.” Slightly unripe berries can be used for making jam. Berries not eaten fresh can be readily frozen or preserved. Besides being an excellent dessert fruit, strawberries are a good source of vitamin C as well as being low in calories (1/2 cup fills an adult's daily need for vitamin C and equals about 25 calories).
For best storage life (3-10 days in the refrigerator, depending on handling and variety), pick the fruit in the cool part of the day. Leave the caps on until you use the fruit.