Blackberry season comes early this summer. Act quick; they may be gone long before you get your fill.
Sacramento shoppers should be able to find berries in most local farmers markets as well as grocery stores. The majority of the commercially grown berries we see come from Watsonville or other areas closer to the coast or from Oregon farms. Wild berries are just now beginning to color, but will be ready for picking very soon. (The trick is always beating the birds to this bounty.) For more on this berry season, click here.
If you’re looking for a new twist on an old berry favorite, consider this idea from the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission: Almond buttermilk shortcake with blackberry filling. Besides sliced almonds and almond extract, the recipe adds a touch of orange peel and Grand Marnier to the old-fashioned biscuit-like shortcake. The blackberry filling also is spiked with more Grand Marnier in the whipped cream. This recipe works with both fresh or frozen blackberries of all sorts including marionberries and olallieberries.
The commission’s website features a berry basket-full of recipes including basics for jams, jellies and syrup as well as award-winning desserts and unusual savory combinations such as crab won tons with Szechuan blackberry sauce. For more blackberry recipes and tips, click on http://www.oregon-berries.com/.