A cross between raspberries and blackberries, loganberries were created by accident in Oregon in the 1800s. They have a tart taste; they are mostly home-grown and, as they ripen at different times, are not likely to be commercially produced.
Closely related to currants, gooseberries can range from tiny and yellow or large and red; they can also be green and white and a dark purple. The plants are hardy and productive and the fruits are often cooked into desserts and jams. As the season progresses, larger and softer varieties of gooseberries become available that are better for eating raw.
About the size of a pea, but red and oval, lingonberries are closely related to cranberries (pdf), though not quite as tart; it’s thought that they are similar in nutrition to cranberries. They have quite a few other names including cowberry, red foxberry, partridge berry and whimberry.
Mulberries — the very ones in the children’s nursery song — can be eaten raw if they are ripe; in this form, they are a source of raw food protein and some have hailed the white varieties as a superfood. The trees are hardy and resistant to pollution and drought (one urban forager reports sampling some berries from trees growing in New York City).
Genetically, these berries are two-thirds blackberry and one-third red European raspberry. Olallieberries were created in 1935 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at Oregon State University, by crossing a loganberry (as noted, a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry) with a youngberry (a cross between a blackberry and a dewberry).
“Olallie” is actually the word for berry in Chinook jargon. Given all those crossings that went into creating these, it makes sense that their name means “berry berry.”
Olallieberries are tart as well as sweet. They are only in season for about four weeks so carpe diem and don’t wait a day too long to get (and eat, and cook) these berries and many others!
Photos from Thinkstock
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