Types of Berries

Berry dessert

Learning about different types of berries may inspire you to try some recipes that call for something exceptional. Before reaching for that container of strawberries, learn about unusual berries that may rouse your interest in trying a new recipe.

Different Varieties of Berries

Countless types of berries exist. Some grow in the wild, some in private gardens, and others are carefully cultivated. Choosing unusual flavors can give traditional recipes gourmet flair, and some are perfect for fresh fruit infused water. Some of the most interesting choices have been developed by cross breeding different berries to create a new variety.

Man-Made Berries

Many berries grow in the wild while others are man-made by crossing different berry types. The man-made varieties may be bred to stand up to harsh weather, to grow quickly, or to grow larger. Examples of crossbred berries are:

  • Boysenberries are exceptionally tart, which makes them an excellent complement to sweet dishes. This fruit is a mix between blackberry, raspberry and loganberry. The result is a gently flavored berry with raspberry undertones that may be very tart if the fruit isn't quite ripe. Boysenberries work well in cobbler recipes, in syrup, and as a topping for cheesecake or tarts.
  • Loganberries are used to produce boysenberries but they are man-made fruits as well. The loganberry is a mix between raspberries and blackberries. The juicy berry is ideal for adding flavor to your favorite fruit salad recipe. They can also be used in beverages. This loganberry and apricot drink recipe is a great example of a non-alcoholic cocktail that is perfect for summer.
  • Youngberries are dark red hybrids between dewberries and blackberries. The fruit's sweet flavor and juiciness make it nice additions to rhubarb jam recipes. Some like to use the fruit to make youngberry wine.
  • Loganberries and youngberries come together to make olallieberries. These berries have a short growing season and they may be used in wine recipes and preserves. The sweet berry is a nice complement to oranges and a sorbet using orange juice, water, sugar and olallieberries is a refreshing treat.

Wild Berries

A list of different kinds of berries would not be complete without wild berries. Picking the ripe fruits is an excellent way to stir your desire to cook while enjoying the outdoors. There is something very rewarding about creating gourmet dishes using recipes that grow in the wild.

  • Huckleberries are similar to blueberries in appearance but they have a deep red or purple color when ripe. Huckleberries can replace blueberries in traditional recipes for a spike of unusual flavor or they can add a wonderful accent to chicken salad with almonds.
  • Dewberries are common in North America and they have a strong resemblance to blackberries and raspberries. The fruit can be used to make a sauce for goose or duck in jelly.
  • Saskatoon (serviceberry) is a durable pome that can grow in difficult climates and it grows naturally in Alaska and Canada. Its flavor is similar to blueberries but it has surprising apple undertones. Serviceberry is an excellent secret ingredient for fruit pie or as a stellar topping for baked Alaska.
  • Salmonberries may be yellow to reddish-orange in hue, and they may also be called thimbleberries. The edible wild berries are sweet, which makes them a nice complement to savory fish. Native Americans used to eat the berries with salmon and the fruit can be used in smoked salmon recipes.

Other Berry Types

The list of berries, including false berries, is practically endless but some stand out as prime ingredients for gourmet recipes. Consider some unusual choices when planning a special meal.

  • Juniper berries are dark purple to black when ripe. The flavorful berries are excellent seasoning for pork and they can be used to make sauerkraut.

Experiment With Different Berries

You should take the opportunity to try all of these different berries so you can taste their individual flavors. This will give you a better idea of how to use them in your recipes, and maybe even combine them to make use of complementary flavors.

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Types of Berries