The blackberry is an edible aggregate fruit that has small drupelets arranged in a circular fashion. The fruit starts out green as it starts to ripen it turns from green to red to black hence its name.
This fruit is quite popular in the summer months in the Northern hemisphere and is native to the Northern parts of Europe.
This perennial shrub is not a true berry and is related to other fruits such as the raspberry as well as boysenberry, marionberry, and youngberry. The berry grows to about 3-4 cm in length with roughly 100 drupelets.
The fruit is usually mature for harvest when the berries easily separate from the receptacle. They are normally hand-picked or picked off by the machine. The blackberry is best when it turns black indicating its ripened state.
Fresh berries are usually bright and glossy and black in color. They should not have any fungus or bruises on them. The fruit should also not be soft or mushy. The berries that are mishandled tend to spoil as they are extremely delicate hence they are usually packed in boxes to keep them from damage.
Blackberries are rather perishable so should be used as soon as possible after bringing them home. Nevertheless, they can stay fresh in the refrigerator for just under a week.
How to Prepare the Blackberry in the Kitchen
Lightly wash the Blackberry in a bowl of water before use to remove any dirt or pesticide residue. Generally, berries are eaten straight off the bush for those who have access to them.
The fruit is used as an ingredient in fruit and vegetable salad dishes. They are also used to flavor different types of sauce, sorbet, and coulis preparations. They are used to flavor ice cream, milkshakes, and other cream preparations.
As for baked goods, this fruit is used to flavor, cake, pie, and pastry dishes. It is also used in muffin, bread, tart, and pudding recipes.
Commercially the Blackberry can be used to make Jam, Jelly, juice, and syrup.
Nutritional Benefits of Blackberry
Blackberry is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. It provides 43 calories per 100 grams and contains no cholesterol. It is also negligible in fat. It also contains moderate levels of the B-complex vitamins such as folates, niacin, and pantothenic acid.
Blackberries are rich in vitamin C and vitamin K. They also have good amounts of vitamin A and vitamin E. As far as minerals go, they are rich in copper with some moderate amounts of iron, magnesium, and zinc.