Matt Carroll studies people’s connections to land, particularly fire risk and human communities throughout the West. But he’s also researched an important Washington state staple: the wild huckleberry.
He’s a professor and associate director of graduate programs in the School of the Environment at Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. While most of his work centers around wildfires, he has also examined the social ecology of the huckleberry in and around the Colville and Panhandle National Forests in northeast Washington and northern Idaho.
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 …
Huckleberries work in many ways that really showcase the Northwest iconic wild berry in dishes. Check out a couple of recipes below from the Wild Huckleberry website. You can find more recipes at the Marx Foods website.
Pan-Seared Salmon with Huckleberry Sauce
4 salmon fillets2 tablespoons olive oilSalt and pepper1/3 cup of water1 cup fresh huckleberries1 tablespoon of sugar1 lemon, juiced¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
Heat skillet over high heat. Add olive oil. Salt and pepper both sides of salmon fillets. When pan is hot add fillets, skin side down. Sear for approximately 4 minutes per side. … » More …