Market Look-For’s

  • Firm skin. Wrinkles or deflated berries often mean they have lost a lot of their moisture
  • Dark color. Green undertones generally equal under-ripe.
  • You should be able to smell them. The biggest difference between out of season grocery store berries and market berries is aroma. If you can’t smell them, think twice.
  • Less than perfect berries are still perfect for making jam or compote. Don’t just pitch ‘em.


  • Storing in the fridge will kill a lot of those aroma and flavor volatiles.
  • If you need to refrigerate, remove and allow to warm before eating.
  • If freezing for winter usage, spread berries out on a sheet tray and freeze then bag to be able to remove individual berries instead of needed to defrost the whole lot.


  • Most berries are low in pectin. If making jam consider adding a thickening agent like apple jam. Blueberries are the exception; they are loaded with pectin and will set up easily.
  • Taste the berries before you use them. Very sweet berries generally need a splash of vinegar; tart berries, a sprinkle of sugar.