header image 2

Gooseberries and other Lesser Known Berries (and 5 links for Friday)

June 18th, 2010 · 13 Comments

Gooseberries are one of those things I don’t think to seek out at the market, but am always pleasantly surprised to find on the table when they arrive in early summer. What’s a gooseberry? I didn’t know myself until I spotted them at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market a few years ago. They are small round berries, related to the currant, that resemble a grape with stripes. They start off tart and green and and turn reddish purple and slightly sweet. They add a great tart balance with combined with sweeter berries in any of your favorite summer desserts. (I made a delish gooseberry-cherry clafoutis the summer before last.) This batch came from Black Rock Orchard in Pennsylvania, and I’ve heard reports of gooseberries across the northeast US. A local Twitter friend reports having them in her backyard growing up, which has me pondering adding them to our planned berry patch for next year.

While we’re on the subject of lesser known berries — those you may have grown up with but never see in a supermarket — we recently discovered that the mysterious berry-laden tree between our neighbor’s house and ours was a mulberry tree. I never realized we had mulberries around here, or that they grew on such tall trees. But a well-timed Washington Post article clarified the matter. I was spoiled growing up on a mountain in Oregon, where we routinely snacked on tiny tart red huckleberries, sweet thimbleberries and wild blackberries every summer. One regional berry you may hear a lot about if you torture yourself by following California food blogs, as I do, is the olallieberry. It was actually cultivated in Oregon (a relative of our beloved Marionberries), but I’ve yet to come across it.

Berries like these are one of the reasons we frequent farmers markets in the summer — aside from exposing our kids to unique berries they might never see otherwise, they also learn to appreciate seasonality and to savor the berries and fruits in their seasons. That’s not to say we never buy grapes in the winter, but they just taste so much better when they’re fresh and local.

Do you have a favorite regional berry from your childhood?

And now, five berry-themed links for your weekend enjoyment:

1. Gooseberry Ginger Jam from Doris and Jilly Cook

2. Mulberry Pie from Herban Lifestyle

3. Olallieberry Tart from Chez Pim

4. Vanilla Bean Marionberry Caramel Swirl Ice Cream (wow!) from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

5. Maple Huckleberry Coffee Cake from 101 Cookbooks

Shared with Fight Back Friday at the Food Renegade.

Tags: at market · baking · dessert · five on friday

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lelo // Jun 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Fun post. And yes, to the Olallieberry. I grew up with a 20 ft row of them in Southern California. We’d pick and pick and pick, until our fingers were stained deep purple. I’d sneak home with friends and pick a few berries at lunch time in elementary school. And during the height of the season, my mom made an olallieberry cobbler every night. I recently found the recipe and it was called a berry roly poly. So so good.

  • 2 Jen // Jun 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    We had a mulberry tree in our yard when I was a kid, and one of my grandmothers did too. My other grandma had gooseberries. She made gooseberry wine. :) She made all kinds of homemade wine (cherry, rhubarb, etc.), and it was so good!!

  • 3 foodietots
    Twitter: foodietots
    // Jun 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    @ Lelo ~ I love that you snuck home for berries! Thanks for sharing.

    @ Jen ~ Ooh, rhubarb wine? Did your grandmother pass on any recipes?

  • 4 Mary // Jun 25, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    What a wonderful collection of berry recipes! A few days ago, I discovered a wineberry bush growing in my backyard. So many berries, so little time!
    And thank you, by the way, for including my mulberry pie recipe along with all these other delicious-looking recipes :)
    .-= Mary┬┤s last blog post ..Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate =-.

  • 5 » Blog Archive » Local Potluck Tuesday June 29 // Jun 29, 2010 at 12:43 am

    […] crumb cake that I’ll share with you later this week. And I still have a (last?) pint of gooseberries awaiting its […]

  • 6 Virgen Vandergriff // Aug 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Hey i just noticed that your RSS feed is broken :-( I hope RSS will be working again. Thank you

  • 7 Newman // Mar 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I not to mention my friends ended up reading through the excellent tricks on your web blog then immediately I got a terrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to you for those techniques. Those boys appeared to be as a consequence happy to read all of them and have in effect unquestionably been tapping into these things. Appreciate your actually being very accommodating and for finding this sort of fine ideas most people are really needing to understand about. My sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.

  • 8 short hairstyles for fine hair // Jun 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been doing a little research on this.

    And he actually ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this
    issue here on your internet site.

  • 9 egzaminy zawodowe technik masazysta // Sep 3, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I know this website gives quality based articles or reviews and additional information, is there any other web site which gives
    these information in quality?

    Here is my webpage: egzaminy zawodowe technik masazysta

  • 10 winamp do pobrania za darmo po polsku instalki // Oct 3, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Its not my first time to go to see this web page, i am browsing this web
    site dailly and take fastidious information from here all the time.

  • 11 free skin in garena lol // Oct 10, 2014 at 4:34 am

    I have read several excellent stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how a lot effort you set to create such a magnificent informative website.

    my page :: free skin in garena lol

  • 12 compare android phones // Oct 19, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Hello my family member! I want to say that this article is awesome, nice written and include almost
    all important infos. I’d like to peer extra posts
    like this .

  • 13 Bogowie zobacz online za darmo 2014 // Nov 12, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Hi there, all is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts,
    that’s truly fine, keep up writing.