Blackberries, velvety dark, juicy and sweet are a harbinger of summertime bounty. These delicate berries are highly perishable though, so proper storage is key to making your trove of summertime fruits last as long as possible. The berries can be stored at room temperature, refrigerated or frozen.

The fresher the blackberries are, the longer they will keep for, whether stored at room temperature or refrigerated. To choose the freshest possible berries, look for:

  • Plump fruits

  • Fully dark, black-purple colored berries

  • Berries with no stems or caps attached

Signs of rotting or immature berries are:

  • Soft, mushy berries

  • Excessive juice coming from the berries when touched

  • Attached stems (the blackberries have been harvested too early)

  • Red or even white or green parts

Do not wash blackberries until they are ready to be eaten or frozen. Washing berries and then refrigerating them will speed up the spoiling time.

To wash the berries:

  • Place the berries in a colander.

  • Run cold water over the berries, gently turning them.

  • Pat dry the berries with a paper towel.

  • Eat or use them immediately.

Freezing blackberries prolongs your harvest, especially if you need to store the berries for longer than 3 days. Frozen blackberries, thawed, will not have the same texture as fresh berries, but the taste will be similar. Frozen berries can be used in sauces, to make jams and for smoothies.