Berry Good

Where to find the best strawberries this season

Although we're fortunate to have a near-constant supply of beautiful fruit year-round, it's really May and June when the farmers' markets begin brimming with gorgeous ripe strawberries. But if you thought all strawberries taste alike, think again. Here are the best varieties you'll find at the markets right now:

Galante This pale-colored berry has extraordinary sweetness, and Rutiz Farms is the only purveyor to carry it at the Santa Monica Wednesday market. When you think of what a strawberry should taste like, this is it. Keep desserts simple with these beauties; a spoonful of whipped cream and some mint will do.

Gaviota Harry's Berries is well known for its organic, juicy, ridiculously sweet, ruby-red Gaviota strawberries. This less acidic fruit has a short shelf life, which is why they're best eaten straight out of the box, but they're equally great for jam. McGrath Family Farms also sells the organic berries. Find them at the Santa Monica (Wed.), Pasadena (Sat.) and Hollywood (Sun.) farmers' markets.

San Andreas J&J Farms from Santa Maria is the only farm to sell this new variety at the Hollywood market. It's similar to the more common Albion berry but sweeter, and it has a longer shelf life in the refrigerator. These are great in fruit or spinach salad.