Richard Llewellyn On Wild Blackberries and Cream
O, blackberry tart, with berries as big as your thumb, purple and black, and thick with juice, and a crust to endear them that will go to cream in your mouth, and both passing down with such a taste that will make you close your eyes and wish you might live forever in the wideness of that rich moment.
Emma’s earlier post on foraging for food reminded us of the sheer wild pleasure of finding those tiny blackberries hidden in the brambles behind our childhood home. It took pluck and determination to glean just a few tiny berries from between the thorns; hands and bare legs were scratched, but it was worth it for those tiny bites of juice and berry flesh.
There was never enough for a tart, and they weren’t of the lush size that Llewellyn praises. But they were wild, found treasures that took work and a little pain, and that hunt made them more precious than any berries more easily come by, so sweet in the mouth, even when underripe and a little sour.
We think it was the wide, wild taste, too – it’s simply unreproducible in our farmed food. What wild fruit have you eaten lately? Look for it – it’s worth the scratches and the sunburn to eat your fruit straight from the tree.
Related: Found Food: Do You Forage for Food?