Compared to the gorgeous, jewel-toned color of pink or purple mulberries, white mulberries are rather plain-looking. Some might even say ugly. Or even grub-like. But don't let that put you off! With their delicate sweetness, white mulberries can be enjoyed on their own or served as a complement to summer ices and other desserts.
Native to China, the fruit of the white mulberry tree (Morus alba) can actually be white, pink, or light purple. Unlike the darker varieties from Persia and Pakistan, the flavor tends to be more mild. With a single-note sweetness, they're not terribly complex but still worth harvesting if you have a tree in your area. White mulberries are sometimes sold at farmers' markets but rarely, if ever, at grocery stores.
In our experience, the berries are best when they are just on the edge of over-ripeness. The little pop of soft, sweet nectar makes an excellent garnish for desserts like herbed ice cream, lemon syllabub, or honey lavender panna cotta. If the appearance is off-putting, white mulberries can be combined with darker colored varieties for a prettier effect. They can also be made into syrups or dried and used like raisins.
(Image: Emily Ho)