When it comes to strawberries, fresh is always best, and smaller is often sweeter.
Look for bright green leaves as an indicator of freshness and reject any barries with dark spots, which are bruises.
The smaller berries are more often ripe all the way through. The huge ones tend to be white or even hollow in the center.
If you will not be using all the strawberries right away, here is my method for making them last as long as possible.
1. Sort through the unwashed berries, removing any that are already in poor condition. I try to use or freeze those right away.
2. Place the berries you are trying to keep fresh in a single layer on a large plate or tray. By spreading them out you will pevent the weight of stacked berries from causing bruising and keep those that are beginning to spoil from ruining their neighbors.
3. Cover the single layer of fruit with a damp paper towel or tea towel, then cover the towel with plastic wrap.
4. Store the covered strawberries in a cool area but do not refrigerate.
5. If you check the toweling every so often to make sure it stays damp, you should be able to keep your strawberries fresh and flavorful for several days.