While the majority of this site is dedicated to wine, The Wine Cellar Insider does not think we can live on wine alone. We like eating too. My favorite season for eating is summer. The plethora of fresh products from the local farmers market’s makes sure every visit is part adventure and part treasure hunt.
For a few weeks a year, Persian Mulberries are available. These are 100 pt berries! They are decadent. Slipping more than one berry at a time into your mouth is a crime.
The berries explode into a cornucopia of flavors. They are sweet, but have ample acidity to balance the sugar and display the complex flavors. Chocolate, boysenberry, raspberry, raisin, blackberry and black cherry flavors linger in your mouth. However the fruit is not all sweet sensations. The refreshing, citrus acidity gives the flavor lift. The juice is palate staining. In fact it’s so dark, the juice will stain just about everything in sight!
Perhaps Shakespeare had Persian Mulberries in mind when he wrote the following lines for Macbeth.
“Out, damned spot! out, I say”! (5.1.38)
“Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him”? (5.1.43)
These delicate berries are best served raw and at room temperature. A little lightly drizzled cream brings decadence to a new level. They are also great for sauces.
Botanically the fruit is not a berry but a collective fruit, in appearance like a swollen loganberry. When the flowers are pollinated, they and their fleshy bases begin to swell. Ultimately they become completely altered in texture and color, becoming succulent, fat and full of juice. In appearance, each tiny swollen flower roughly resembles the individual drupe of a blackberry. The color of the fruit does not identify the mulberry species. White mulberries, for example, can produce white, lavender or black fruit. White mulberry fruits are generally very sweet but often lacking in needed tartness. Red mulberry fruits are usually deep red, almost black, and in the best clones have a flavor that almost equals that of the black mulberry. Black mulberries are the money shot of the berry world. They need heat to fully ripen. Due to their delicate nature, (they break easily) they are not easy to transport. Local farmers markets are best place find them.