Blackberry is a gorgeous edible fruit with a dark, purplish/black color. They grow on prickly bushes in temperate regions in the north. These bushes are also known as brambles.
Oddly enough, it is hard to know the origin of the blackberry as they grow widely (and wildly) all over the world. They have been traced to the diets of the Greeks and the Romans. Native Americans used them, their leaves, and the bush for food, medicine, and to dye their animal skins and hides.
The blackberry bush is perennial. The roots survive every year, but that is not the same for the top of the plant. The canes or branches of the bush is actually a biennial. The cane will grow for one year, fruit the next, and then die off.
This might sound crazy, but blackberry bushes are notoriously invasive so you are almost always getting new fruit each year if you have one or know of one growing in the wild.
Each blackberry is made up of anywhere from 20-50 seeds that are also known as drupelets. Go ahead, say drupelet again. Each one is filled with the purplish juice that gives the berry its signature flavor which is somewhere between a black grape and a raspberry.
They are typically in season from June to November giving us plenty of time to make delicious things with them. If you get a tart or tangy blackberry, it is a telltale sign that it is unripe or out of season.
Blackberries are delicious on their own, but even better when incorporated into other things. They are fantastic in ice cream, baked goods, parfaits, pies and work well with cheeses and oddly enough, pork!
Here are some great recipes using blackberry:
- Mixed Berry Pie
- Blackberry Popovers
- Blackberry Buckle
- Berry Ricotta Cheesecake
- Blackberry Bundt Cake
What are the health benefits of blackberries?
Like so many berries, they are high in antioxidants. They are also rich in vitamins A, C, E, and many of the Bs. On top of that, they also have potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
How do you know when a blackberry is ripe?
A ripe blackberry is dark in color. If you see red or purple, they are not ready to be picked and if they are in the package at the store, I would suggest finding another one.
If you are a lucky duck and are out at a pick your own farm or have some growing in your backyard, in addition to the dark color, the berry should feel plump and heavy. Give it a tug and if it resists, let it stay on the plant a little longer.
Is it bad to eat too many blackberries?
Two things to keep in mind here. While blackberries are safe to consume in large quantities, they are a fruit and therefore pack in a decent amount of sugar if you eat a ton. Not to mention the fact that they are high in fiber. It is probably best to read between the lines on that one.
What happens if you picked too many blackberries or can’t use them fast enough?
Look no further than your freezer. You can 100% put them in a freezer-safe container or bag, but they tend to get a bit mushy. To help them hold onto their structural integrity, freeze them in a single layer on a plate or a baking sheet and then transfer them to a freezer-safe container.