They're Berry Good!
By Chef Jen McClure
Culinary Bits is a monthly spotlight featuring tips from our own FVTC Chef Instructors. For June, Chef Jen McClure* celebrates the virtues of mulberries.
It’s berry season! More specifically, it’s mulberry season. I have my very own in the back yard that stands a good 20 feet high.
My particular tree is black mulberry, but there are white and red varieties. The harvesting can begin as early as mid-June and as late as August depending on the tree.
The key to harvesting is patience. Let them turn to the correct color before you pick them from your tree. I will be laying a tarp under the tree and shaking the limbs for my harvest, but you can most certainly hand pick.
The mulberries, once picked, can be kept unwashed in the refrigerator for up to three days. My plan is jam, lots of jam. Also, rinsing and freezing some of the precious berries while, of course, making my family a pie… or two.
Let’s not forget that mulberries, besides tasting wonderful, have health benefits. They aid in digestion and the prevention of cataracts, while apparently reducing the appearance of blemishes and age spots.
You most likely will not be able to find mulberries at the grocery store. The best chance would be a farmers’ market or planting your own tree. You will have to be patient again (roughly three years) for the tree to produce.
Learn more about the Culinary & Hospitality programs at Fox Valley Technical College >>
*Chef Jen is the Wisconsin Bakers Association 2018 Baking Instructor of the Year! Read more about this award >>