Note: This post originally appeared on Amazon’s Al Dente blog in August 2012. Even though three years have gone by, this classic culinary story never goes out of style. Hot and sunny summer days bring a plethora of fat and juicy wild blackberries growing on the thick and thorny brambles around town!
The wild blackberries are ripe! At long last, the plethora of wild blackberries found out here in Seattle are plump and ready for picking. On trails and in parks it is common to see berry enthusiasts braving the thorns and picking berries!
I have loved wild blackberry season ever since I moved to Seattle in 1995. I was astonished that so many plump berries were easily found and free for the picking! Back then, everyone seemed to take my enthusiasm with a ho-hum sigh. No one seemed particularly impressed by the glossy fat berries or they simply took their existence for granted. Many of my gardening friends reminded me that they were an invasive nuisance! I was sort of baffled by the lackluster enthusiasm for such a sweet wild treasure. Having been born and raised on suburban Long Island, I can assure you that I didn’t grow up with berries growing so wild and free!
I braved the thorny hedges last week and gathered my first five pounds. The berries were just starting to ripen after a brief heat wave. A pound of those berries were turned into an unstrained berry syrup suitable for ice cream or yogurt. The rest of the berries were frozen on a tray and transferred to a heavy duty freezer bag. They will be turned into cobblers and crisps in the off season.
Are you a wild berry fan? Do you gather berries, such as huckleberries, salmonberries, cranberries, or blackberries in your region?