How to Pick a Blackberry

We are still picking handfuls of blackberries at our house every day. This has been a wonderful treat for weeks. But now the season is winding down. I'm going to miss the blackberries terribly. But before they go, the way of all things summer, I thought would make a quick post on the art of how to pick a blackberry.

For a long time, before I have my own blackberry bushes. I was only familiar with blackberries purchased from farmer's markets'. In other words - TART. Turns out though, that backyard blackberries are not supposed to be tart. In fact they are a mouthful of sugar, if they are picked correctly.

Most people I know, pick their blackberries when they turn black. WRONG. I understand why they are doing this, for a long time up to a couple of weeks, the blackberries are red as raspberries. And when the first berries turn green to bright red, it's really hard to stop yourself from picking some of the red berries. After all, raspberry season has just ended. And the red blackberries look so delicious. But you put one in your mouth and you pucker.  So then you wait until the red blackberries turn black. Then you think - a-ha they are ripe - and you pick them. But they are still a little tart.

The key is to wait until the blackberries are soft to the touch. When they are finally soft to the touch, they are pure sugar without a trace of tartness. The other wonderful thing about blackberries is that they are enormous. Raspberries are small in comparison but they are great. But when you pick a ripe, sweet blackberry, it's like a quarter cup of juice in your mouth. It's unbelievable.

So now, you never have to have a tart blackberry again. And if you don't have a blackberry bush - for hell's sake, GO GET ONE. :-)


  1. Great advice! The 'soft' rule holds for our wild blackberries that grow here. Our season was in July and I sure miss them.

  2. I had no idea there was a right and a wrong way to pick blackberries. Thank you for teaching me!