No blackberries as good as home

Turns out the blackberries overhanging my neighbor’s fence to our yard — and which catch on legs, feet and hands whenever we’re out weeding (or playing) in the garden — might not be so bad after all.

I though it was the sun that had made them extra juicy and tasty. But a little lazy foraging around Berkeley and Oakland has me convinced we have some sort of olallieberry-type hybrid hanging over the fence. That’s not something to complain about, as long as I can keep it hacked back through the year.

The fruit is sweet, raspberry-like, and juicy — and lacks the musty, papery aftertaste in so many blackberries. It’s quite a contrast to the fruit on wild vines in a friend’s yard near Lakeshore, the park behind Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley, and a few other spots I can’t remember off the top of my head, where I’ve picked fruit in the past couple of weeks. Those berries were blah. Small, and sometimes harder versions of the bland boxed blackberries sold at Whole Foods and Berkeley Bowl.

For a tasty return on the hunt, blackberry foraging is tougher than it looks. I won’t be clambering around Hwy 580 looking for berries amid the profusion of thorns there any time soon after all.

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