An Exploration of Lesser-Known Berries
While the strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry are rather popular berries, there are plenty of other species found all over the world and right in your own backyard that you are unaware of. When looking for new and exotic recipes for food and drink to explore, why not consider the fruits that possess varying health benefits, such as fighting infection or aiding the kidneys? Hidden fields and rocky mountain regions are just some of the places you will find the following berries:
Sometimes referred to as the “bakeapple,” this berry is native to Newfoundland, Labrador, and Cape Breton Island, which grow 10 to 25 centimeters into the air. After the plant becomes pollinated, the white flowers produce fruit the size of raspberries. When ripe, the berries are golden yellow in color, soft, juicy, and bursting forth with vitamin C. When allowed to become overripe, they turn creamy and generate a flavor much like yogurt. Cloudberries are typically used to make juices, jams, tarts, and liqueurs. During ancient Scandinavian times, the leaves of the cloudberry plant were used to create a tea believed to cure urinary tract infections.
In North America, you will find the huckleberry, which is actually the state fruit of Idaho. The berries of this plant are small and round ? measuring less than 5 millimeters in diameter. Depending on the species, huckleberries are dark purple, bright red, or various shades of blue. The taste of the berry also varies, including tart and sweet flavors. The bluish to purple shades of the fruit resemble the taste of the blueberry.
In the western and northern parts of North America (Alaska, Ontario, Minnesota, Mexico, etc.), you will find the thimbleberry, which was named after the Thimble Islands in Connecticut, even though the fruit is near extinct in the region. When compared to raspberries, the thimbleberry is larger and softer with a flatter appearance. Small seeds are found inside. Thimbleberries that grow in the wild have gained quite the reputation for making delicious jam.
Who would have thought that dwarf evergreen shrubs would produce an edible fruit found in the Andes of South America to temperate climates in the northern hemisphere? This berry is rather dry with a similar taste to blueberries. When eaten raw, the berries are considered mealy and without much taste. However, Native Americans mixed the crowberry with other berries (like the blueberry) in order to enhance their flavor when cooking. This particular species of fruit is known to make a decent pie and tasty jelly.