Berries are among the most perishable fruits and begin to come into market early in the summer season. In most locations, the berry season begins with strawberries and ends with blackberries. Because the numerous varieties are somewhat juicy and soft and therefore extremely perishable, they will not stand shipping and storage for long periods of time.

The quality of berries depends much on the nature of the season, as well as on the locality in which the berries are grown. If there is a good supply of rain, the berries will be very moist, containing a large amount of pulp in proportion to seeds and skins; but if the season is very dry, the berries are likely to be less moist and consequently less palatable.

We generally use raw berries during the season, and they also play very important part in the baking and production of jams, jellies, juices and other preserves.

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Did You Know?
Although we usually think of citrus fruits as the main source of vitamin C, black currants contain much more of this vital nutrient. Just one cup has nearly 203 mg. of vitamin C, or about 338 percent of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance), compared with about 69 mg. for a 4-1/2 oz. orange.
The oil from black currant seeds also contains rich stores of gamma linolenic acid, one of the omega-3 EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids).
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In the preparation of berries for the table, they should be handled as little as possible in order to prevent them from breaking up and losing their shape. After being purchased, they should be kept where it is cool until they are to be used. It is advisable not to wash them until just before serving, as the water and extra handling usually bruises them and causes them to spoil.