28 August 2011
Black raspberries yeah
These were $4 at the farmer's market, aka "way too expensive to buy on any sort of regular basis," but I bit the bullet and brought them home, just for once.
One of the best things about the summer camp I went to as a kid was the gigantic thatch of black raspberry bushes growing behind the dining hall. They were certainly far superior to the institutional banana and pistachio pudding we'd get for dessert in the dining hall itself. Those raspberries were practically the highlight of the summer. Along with the wintergreen scattered around the camp at strategic intervals, they were my first foraging experience.
Here in NorCal we have way more options for urban foraging. Our yard alone supplies lemons, oranges, plums, spearmint, lemon balm, and chives, all without human interference. Herbs run wild; rosemary hedges and sage bushes overflow the road medians. The walkway behind the library is filled with self-seeding Italian parsley. Random stone fruit, fig, and citrus trees dot parks, parking lots, apartment complexes. Blackberries, scourge of the northeast, poke through fences and hedges to ripen in the sun. But there are no raspberries. I have to say I'm tempted to plant my own cane in the backyard.
Black raspberries are even more delicate than red or gold raspberries, both in flavor and physical stability. If you are so lucky as to get your hands on any, you should eat them as simply and immediately as possible. I ate most of mine right out of the box.