Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Unlike its distant cousin, the invasive Himalayan blackberry, the salmonberry is a seasonal treat native to the Pacific Northwest. Even so, something about them--the sci-fi name? the importance to Native cuisine?--has always made me classify them as "exotic". It wasn't until I had them pointed out to me in the wild that I realized I'd actually seen salmonberries around Seattle--not flourishing in vacant lots like the blackberries, but cultivated as decorative groundcover.
The ripe berries can be various shades of golden orange or dark red and are only slightly sweet, with a mild bitter aftertaste that reminds me of citrus pith. A fine snack for hikers, they can also be made into jam, cobbler, or pemmican.