ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

Back to Wisconsin, my cheesehead friends

Foraging Fail- These are not the currants you are looking for…


Mink Brook

Mink Brook

Pidi and I took in the beautiful Summer weather by hiking into Hanover along Mink Brook Trail to have coffee at Umplebys. It takes us about an hour to walk there and the walk is very pleasant along the bubbling Mink Brook.


Berries of an unknown origin

On the way out of town, I noticed some berries and stopped on our way back home to pick what I thought were red currants. If we were in Wisconsin, they likely would be currants, but, TotoPidi, I’m afraid we’re not in Kansas anymore. I took a taste of a few berries and they had the sourness of currants, but also a little bit of bitterness. I picked about two cups into Pidi’s hiking water dish and finished the walk home.

The Foraginging Goddess (God?) must have been smiling on me, because I walked past a bush of ripe blackberries too! I was able to pick a big cup of blackberries, or blackcaps. Beautifully black and sweet. I strode home with a big F of my chest for Forager!

Getting home, the niggling doubt started to eek away at my confidence. Believing myself to be a saavy forager, I turned to the Interwebs for guidance… what were these little berries I had picked? They came from a short (6′) shrub with almond-shaped leaves. The berries grew in pairs along the base of the leaves. They were abundant and ripe in mid-June in New Hampshire.

Winterberries. They were stupid winterberries. Completely inedible due to theobromines, chemicals related to caffeine, found concentrated in the seeds. I had picked compost fodder. Bah. And they were making my stomach upset.

But, unwilling to admit defeat, I did turn the blackberries into some damn good Blackberry Financiers. They’re “rich.” Get it? Look for a recipe tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Foraging Fail- These are not the currants you are looking for…

  1. So sorry about your fake currents. I must pick red raspberries again today. They are not very nice due to the damn Japanese beetles, But the good ones are sweet and juicy. The make a fine sauce, ! cup berries, 1/2 to 3/4 cup conf sugar and a tbsp lemon juice. Food process and strain overnight.

    • Look for a recipe for blackberry financiers later this morning to see what I did with the wild blackberries…

  2. Pingback: Blackberry Financiers | ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

  3. I know the feeling about finding inedible berries. I found a plant last year that I thought was an elderberry bush. Through an internet search, I discovered that it was in fact an inkberry bush. Inkberries have several uses (like making ink or as a laxative) but eating is not among them. I did try some and they didn’t taste good at all. Meanwhile, I have several good memories of picking blackberries in Oregon as a kid. They are an invasive species with a side benefit for the human foragers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s