If you're lucky enough to be in France, the local varieties are best eaten straight from the punnet, bought from the market only moments earlier. The range of perfumes, textures, and flavours is beyond anything seen in the UK, and the berries are sold so ripe that they really must be eaten that day.
One way to use those strawberries which are so soft as to be almost liquid is to push them through a sieve, pour the liquid into champagne flutes, and top up with sparkling white wine.
Good strawberries are best eaten simply - on a French tart with short pastry and a creme patissiere, or covered in cream and a light sprinkle of sugar - but these days it can be hard to find good strawberries, even in season. Those sold in supermarkets are often under-ripe and tasteless, while farmers' markets and specialist shops can be very expensive.
There are always days spent out at pick your own farms, but it can be overwhelming to return home with several overflowing punnets of just-picked fruit, all of which need to be eaten or preserved in a matter of moments.
While the freezer is a perfectly acceptable way to preserve a strawberry, the more enterprising among you could try a trick from Cook's Illustrated that extends the shelf-life of all summer berries: give them a vinegar bath as soon as you get them home.
Rinse berries in a solution that is one part vinegar to three parts water, then pat them lightly with a paper towel to dry. Store the berries in the fridge in a lidded container lined with paper towels, and keep the lid slightly ajar. The vinegar kills external spores that lead to mould, and berries stay fresh in the fridge for days longer than normal.
For berries slightly past their best, simply macerate them by placing the chopped berries in a bowl, tossed through with some sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. The macerated berries can then be added to yogurt or cereal, eaten alone or with cream, or added to all manner of desserts.