In our kitchen, we treat blackberries like precious gems. We dream of living near wild bramble bushes, from which we might gather bucketsful of blackberries to make copious amounts of jam and pies. Until that day, we treasure the little, and unfortunately rather expensive, cartons of blackberries we find at the farmers' market from mid-summer to early fall. They are an indulgence, and we savor each berry as we eat them individually or add them as accents to crumbles and cobblers, shortcakes, and beverages.
There are hundreds of species of wild blackberries, many of which grow along the Pacific coast of North America. Blackberries have also been cultivated and hybridized, producing varieties such as loganberries, youngberries, marionberries, olallieberries, and chehalem blackberries.
Raw blackberries tend to be sour, but when cooked, they turn sweet and jammy. They are particularly delicious in combination with peaches, apples, and other berries. Cream, honey, or lemon also complement blackberries well.
The soft, dark berries are quite fragile, so when shopping look for fruits that are whole and plump. Avoid shriveled berries and look carefully for mold. Store berries in the refrigerator and eat them within a day or two.
How do you like to eat blackberries?
Recipes from The Kitchn:
• Apple-Blackberry Pie with Ginger
• Blackberry Buttermilk Ice Cream
• Blackberry Elderflower Spritzer with Mint
• Long Island Margarita
• Phyllo Napoleons with Blackberry Sauce and Vanilla Cream
• Recipe Roundup: Summertime Semifreddi
And a few more from around the Web:
• Blackberry-Bay Leaf Jam from Martha Stewart
• Blackberry Cornmeal Cake from Everyday Food
• Blackberry Limeade from 101 Cookbooks
• Plums & Blackberries in Rosemary Syrup from Good Food
Related: Seasonal Spotlight: Mulberries
(Image: Flickr member threelayercake licensed under Creative Commons)