Come summertime, blueberries are royalty in North Carolina. Deep navy berries weigh down nearly every branch of these bountiful high-bush varietals. Cup your hand up and around a ripened bunch to gently, effortlessly dislodge 10 or more berries in one grab, letting them tumble down into one of your waiting baskets.
Mulberry trees, though more prevalent in our home state of Wisconsin than here, are equally as prolific. If not more so. Foraging, conversely, is very tedious. A ladder is needed, and given the limited range of which one can safely stretch atop this lofty perch, re-positioning multiple times is also required. It’s no simple task. Painstaking, even, but if you ask me, worth every minute and bead of sweat as you pluck individual berries in the early summer heat.
Turning from white to fuchsia to the darkest purple when fully ripe, mulberries resemble blackberries in both appearance and seedy texture. If you’ve never tasted one, the flavor is similar to their fig cousins, with subtle floral notes of pear and citrus in the background.
There’s also a touch of bitterness behind the layers of sweet mulberry flavor. Here, beneath a crunchy oat-nut blanket, juicy blueberries and spice notes of cinnamon + fresh and dried ginger offer balance.