The blackberry, a little wild gem


Within the extensive group of what we know as berries, and frequently included in the so-called fruits of the forest, the blackberry stands out. Also known as blackberry, it is the small fruit of the plant of the same name. It is one of the most common berries thanks to the fact that the blackberry is easily found in the wild, and it is a true gastronomic gem for the lucky ones who live in the regions where it grows.

The blackberry belongs to the Rosaceae family and is included in the genus Rubus. They should not be confused with calls Morus, which are the fruits of trees such as mulberry, despite their similarities in appearance and name, since they have no culinary use.The blackberry, however, is a delicate fruit with a deep flavor and aroma, which not only offers great possibilities in the kitchen but is also very healthy.

Blackberry characteristics

The blackberry is a small berry of between one and two centimeters, although sometimes specimens of up to three centimeters are obtained, depending on the species. It has a globular, round or elongated appearance, and is made up of small drupes that make up a cluster of tiny spheres, each with a seed inside.

The color of this fruit varies as it matures, thus indicating the optimal time for its harvest. Blackberries are born with a greenish white that turns to a beautiful bright red, to finally become berries of a dark purple, almost black, bright and intense. Blackberry juices leave a strong trail of magenta or purplish hues, staining everything they touch, similar to blueberry.

The blackberry bush grows wild in much of Europe, America and Oceania easily, especially in areas with mild but sunny temperatures. It is easy to find large numbers of these plants in plains, clear forests and on the roadsides of places with abundant rainfall. The fruits ripen during the summer and are harvested between the months of August and September, although currently some varieties are also grown throughout the year for consumption.

Beneficial properties

Like almost all berries and berries, blackberries are very beneficial to health. They are low in calories due to their poor carbohydrate intake, but are loaded with vitamins and some minerals. They have good amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E and fiber, soluble and insoluble. In addition, they contain good doses of potassium, iron and calcium, although they are less usable than those from animal origin.

But if something distinguishes red fruits from other types of fruits, it is the strong antioxidant action. Its intense color indicates the high amount of natural pigments, anthocyanins and carotenoids, which fight the action of free radicals that are negative for health. Thus, blackberries have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial actions and contribute to the proper functioning of the immune system.

Consumption and culinary uses

The ripe blackberry has a sweeter flavor than other berries, although it retains acid nuances, which can vary according to the species. With a pronounced flavor thanks to its juices, the presence of the seeds stands out, which provide a crunchy touch when chewed.

This small fruit is delicious if consumed naturally, best freshly collected, since at home it will last in perfect condition for just a few days if it is kept in the refrigerator. A good idea to take advantage of the blackberry season is to freeze them, and thus be able to use them in multiple recipes the rest of the year.

When it comes to cooking with it, the blackberry offers many possibilities. Its most common uses are in the preparation of jams and jellies, alone or with other berries, as well as in desserts, cakes and biscuits. It can also be used to make liqueurs, juices, syrups and sauces, as they combine very well in savory recipes. Its sweet flavor creates suggestive contrasts in dishes with cheeses and meat recipes, especially game.

Blackberry Recipes Direct to the Palate

  • Chocolate sponge cake and blackberry jam
  • Almond and blackberry tart
  • Blackberry ricotta cheesecake
  • Cheesecake and blackberry jam
  • English blackberry jam
  • Blackberry and almond cupcakes

Images | Tiny Tall, Deanster1983, Rob_sg, Emily Carlin
Directly to the Palate | Blackberry gratin cream recipe
Directly to the Palate | Blackberry buttermilk cake

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