Archive for May, 2017

The ‘Mystery Berry’

Honeyberry plants, aka Lonicera caerulea (say that three times fast after a glass of wine!) are non-invasive relatives of the honeysuckle – don’t picture the vines wildly covering your grandmother’s hillside! These plants grow much like traditional blueberries in a bushy form.

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So most importantly for our berry lovers – what do these oblong shaped blue guys taste like? Much like wine, that seems to depend on each person’s unique palate – they have been described as a ‘mystery berry’ flavor, reminding some of blackberry, cherry, grape, and even subtle kiwi. With a very thin skin, the zesty sweet-tart berries melt in your mouth when enjoyed fresh off the bush. They work well in any recipes calling for blueberries, adding a sweetness and unique depth of flavor. Jams, pies, muffins, let your imagination grow wild in your culinary ventures with these special berries.

Also called haskap berry (from the Japanese name for the plant), this relatively ‘new’ fruit has actually been cultivated in cooler regions for centuries, farmers in Asia and Eastern Europe knew them well and how to grow honeyberries. The plants are native to Russia and Siberia and have remarkable cold tolerance, surviving temperatures of -55 degrees Fahrenheit and blooms that can tolerate spring frosts with little damage. It typically takes a full year before the plants start to produce any noticeable quantity of fruit, but we hope to have a handful to taste for ourselves this season! New rows are planted!

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