Monday, June 24, 2013

'Not so famous' Berries - foraged and home grown!

Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries - all of them popular and available in the grocery stores and farmers market throughout the year. Nothing special about them. This is not a post about those berries but some of the other berries which are not quite so popular.

Mulberries, Wild Black Raspberries and Gooseberries - all what you will not find in stores. They are either foraged or grown in backyard gardens.

Mulberries - foraged on the side of the road
I have written about mulberries before found on the side of the road near our house where we go for walks. Back then nobody even paid any attention to the fruits that littered the side walk. Fast forward a few years the tree always has visitors stopping by to taste. Some even carry small Ziploc bags to collect and take home.

Gooseberries on the other hand are usually grown in people's backyard. I have not seen them in stores or even farmer's markets. My neighbor was the one who introduced and shared with us his goose berries one year. I planted a couple of plants and they are starting to produce fruit now. These are different from the Indian variety, other than the puckering sour taste when they are young these ripen into sweet berries.

Ripening Gooseberries
When young they can be easily used as substitute for tamarind. I did just that the other day when making kara kuzhambu with field beans (mochai) and needless to say they were a perfect substitute.

Black Raspberries - foraged on the side of the road
Black Raspberries were another find along the same road. DD2 is the one who is very excited about these berries and is always ready to come along for the walk just to collect and taste them. After watching them for a while now they have just started to ripen. Slightly sour but with a sweet after taste and a lot smaller than the store bought red ones. We carried a few in the palm of our hands to photograph the rest were eaten right near the plant and on the way.


  1. Lucky you....that's the first thing came to my mind....I specially love the first one, it's indian shahtoot....we grew up eating these from a neighbourhood tree....& just other day when we went for strawberry picking with girls, I was talking to my husband about these....miss those days when we could just pluck them from the tree & enjoy them. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Spice, I used to teach English to an Afghani lady who asked me if I had tasted shahtoot and I had no idea. She brought me a few dried ones to taste. Thanks to the internet I found out shahtoot was none other than mulberries. It was around the same time I noticed these trees growing by the side of the road.


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