Your Best Ideas for Blackberries

July 23, 2012

Photo by Joseph De Leo; styled by Mariya Yufest

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for

- Seamus Heaney (excerpted from "Blackberry Picking")

Seamus Heaney aptly encompasses the essence of blackberries in a few short stanzas: the requisite patience followed by plump fruit full of concentrated, sweet juice, which only triggers greater hunger for the wild bramble berry. What Heaney didn’t mention, though, was the fruit's superpowers.

Blackberries were enjoyed by the ancient Greeks who believed that they cured diseases of the throat and mouth. Later, when the berry was discovered in Europe, it continued to make its presence known in the medicinal world. Those who praise this aggregate fruit (it's actually an impostor berry, each fragile nub is itself a tiny fruit) for its healing powers are right in doing so. The blackberry is one of the healthiest fruits available, thanks to its high concentration of antioxidants (powerhouses against cancer), as well as vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, and folic acid.

The blackberry can thrive in a wide variety of climates and, thus, can be seen in cuisines around the world. It willingly appears in double-crust pies, red wine sauces, muddled cocktails, jams, and sorbets, but we're looking to you to expand our culinary horizons as we approach its peak season.

How do you use this juicy summer berry? Share your favorite ways to enjoy blackberries in the comments section below. Remember, if you choose to upload a recipe (and we hope you will), please mention it in your comment.

We'll assemble and share some of our favorite ideas next week.


Photos by Sarah Shatz (left) and James Ransom


Raspberry-Blackberry Ice Cream
Mama Ida's Alabama Blackberry Cobbler

Meatloaf with Blackberry Barbecue Sauce [FOOD52]
Sticky Blackberry Honey Hot Wings [FOOD52]
Blackberry Caipirinha [FOOD52] (pictured above, left)
Berry Summer Pudding [FOOD52]
(pictured above, right)

For more seasonal produce inspiration, check out our previous topic, Your Best Ideas for Parsley, and the selection of your best tips and recipes, How to Use Parsley.

6 Comments Add a Comment
  • Lori_narlock-2-57

    lorinarlock says: I love anything baked with blackberries, but I'm not much of a baker so I'm always looking for shortcuts. I've baked blackberries in ramekins with shortbread cookies crumbled over the top and I've baked them into an easy cheesecake recipe I just posted.

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • Missing_avatar

    Margo Ashford says: I love blackberries; however, the seeds are a problem for me. I juice them to remove the seeds and freeze the juice in ice cube trays to add to my smoothies, sauces, jellies, or other recipes that require blackberries. A frozen cube or two is also great to add to tea, lemonade, or mixed drinks.

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • Oldies_joemare_bd

    sdebrango says: Besides pies or cobblers or crumbles my favorite is ice cream. I make a blackberry basil gelato that is delicious. The blackberry basil syrup can also be used in drinks.

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • Sara_lorikeets

    hardlikearmour says: There's a local burger chain in the Portland area called Burgerville. They serve seasonal specials ranging from Walla Walla onion rings to pumpkin milkshakes. One of my favorites is the blackberry milkshake using locally made ice cream and locally grown berries. Come to think of it their blackberry lemonade is pretty delicious, too!

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • Missing_avatar

    Rashmi Primlani says: How About a Blackberry & Vodka Popsicle Designed Especially for 21+ and Older.

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • 290

    aargersi says: OK so this is a jam - but I promise you it is a very good jam:

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »

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