Mulberry trees grow wildly and abundantly throughout Pennsylvania, on city streets, in suburban backyards and along the edges of country fields. The exceptionally tart-sweet berries that Mulberry trees in North America bear are mostly red and purple, somewhat resembling raspberries and blackberries, but with a more oblong shape. Foraging these beauties isn’t too tricky – the trees don’t generally grow too tall and the berries release easily. If there are wild-growing trees around you (if they’re on a neighbor’s or a farmer’s property, but sure to ask first!), why not fill up a bucket and bring it home? The fruit’s peak season runs from mid-June to late-July. As with all fruit, foraged or not, give it a good rinse and sorting before you snack on them or prepare them for a recipe. You can also use any kind of frozen berry to make this shrub recipe at other times throughout the year!
One fun way to use mulberries is in a shrub, an apple cider vinegar concoction laced with fruit juice. Shrubs make awesome mixers for cocktails, or in this case, non-alcoholic beverages. The berries’ flavor, melded with warm, spicy ginger, savory thyme and sugar, makes for a sophisticated sipper when topped off with sparkling water. Keep a jar in the fridge and, a refreshing, spritzy drink is at your fingertips anytime.
Check out our video for instructions on how to make a foraged mulberry shrub, then head here for the full recipe!
- Video and photo: Dish Works