A conversation about Difficult Fruit with Kate Lebo
Kate Lebo’s lyrical and literary Book of Difficult Fruit—part memoir, part cookbook, wholly wonderful—published April 6.
The compilation of essays, one for each letter of the alphabet, uses different fruits as key ingredients for recipes and storytelling. Each piece stands on its own. Collectively, though, the entries present an associative work that is altogether delightful, insightful, witty, surprising, and often deeply personal.
Lebo finished the final draft while working … » More …
More wild berries
Numerous wild berries can be found in summer and fall around Washington state. Here are more varieties to look for.
Read about wild berries in the Pacific Northwest.
Black chokeberries (Aronia melanocarpa)—A great natural source of pectin, these tart, dark berries are perfect for processing into jam and jelly.
Black hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii)—These tart reddish purple berries—best in jam, jelly, sauce, and vinegar—are prevalent west of the Cascade Range in damp clearings and thicket margins.
Black huckleberries (Vaccinium membranaceum)—These are among the tastiest and most popular berries in the Pacific Northwest.
Blackcap raspberries (Rubus leucodermis)—Unlike blackberries, these berries have a hollow middle, like … » More …
In the shadowy spaces and the sunny clearings of high Northwest forests, the huckleberry waits for an eager human or bear in the late summer. Imbued with an intense sweet-sour flavor, this coveted wild treat might peek out from its glossy leaves in a jealously-protected secret location, but it will be sought and often found.
Seekers of the huckleberry—whether they are Native Americans, more recent residents of the area, or the berry-loving grizzly and black bears—hunt incessantly for the deep purple to red fruit. Even if they aren’t pickers, any Northwesterner or visitor would still find it hard to miss the huckleberry jams, shakes, pies, … » More …
The kinder, gentler orchard
The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 initiated the gradual phasing out of organophosphate pesticides. By 2012, the major chemical defense against wormy apples will no longer be available. But not to worry, thanks to a continuous refinement of Integrated Pest Management and collaboration amongst growers, industry fieldmen, and WSU researchers.» More ...
The best berries
These are not your ordinary grocery store strawberries.
They are nothing like those California berries, bred for size, long truck rides, and shelf-life, locked in plastic clamshells under the florescent lights of the produce section.
The berries of Washington are juicy, fragile, flavor-packed fruit. Because Northwest berries are mostly grown for processing, their texture and flavor are paramount, says Patrick Moore, WSU’s strawberry breeder.
And what grows best here are typically berries bred for this environment. Hood, an Oregon variety, is one of the most widely-grown in the region. It has large, dark red fruit and a clean, sweet taste. And like the rich, … » More …